April 23, 2010
Notes Package #10.
WACO, Texas - The ninth-ranked Baylor men's tennis team returns to the Baylor Tennis Center to host its final match of the conference season against No. 13 Texas Tech (20-3, 3-2) on Saturday at 6 p.m.
On the season, the Bears are 19-5 overall, while holding a 3-2 mark in conference play after winning matches against No. 20 Oklahoma and No. 54 Oklahoma State last weekend in the Sooner State. The Bears are 13-1 this season at the Baylor Tennis Center and have not lost to Texas Tech since 1996 - a streak of 15 straight matches.
With a win in Saturday's match the Bears would clinch the third-seed in the Big 12 Championships held April 30-May 2 in Austin, Texas, and secure a 13th straight season with a winning record in conference play. A victory would also give the Bears 20 wins on the season, a feat the Baylor squad has accomplished for eight-straight years since a 12-12 finish in 2001.
Live results for Saturday's match can be found here.
CURRENT TEAM STREAKS AND TRENDS: Overall, the Bears have won 34 of 40 matches dating back to last season, including 14 of their last 17. The Bears enter Saturday's match looking to extend their three-match win streak in conference play. Prior to the current streak the Bears had lost two straight for the first time since dropping matches earlier in the year against Florida and Louisville.
DOUBLES POINT STREAKS AND TRENDS: Baylor has won the doubles point in its last three matches, after losing the previous three. The catalyst for the turnaround has been the team of Maros Horny and Sergio Ramirez, who have gone 3-0 at the No. 3 spot. The team of Jordan Rux and Attila Bucko are 2-0 at the two spot during the stretch, but the Bears' No. 1 duo of Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin are 0-3 in the last three matches. Baylor is 16-0 in matches when winning the doubles point and just 3-5 when losing it.
SINGLES STREAKS AND TRENDS: Dominik Mueller enters Saturday's match with a four-match win streak. Behind the senior, Julian Bley has played well, taking three matches in a row, while Attila Bucko has now won two in a row after dropping his first three conference matches at the three spot.
SENIOR DAY ACTIVITIES: Baylor's three seniors, Attila Bucko, Denes Lukacs and Dominik Mueller, will be honored during the match. The trio has combined to go 333-106 in singles matches during their careers, while leading the Bears to three NCCA tournament appearances, three Big 12 regular season titles and three conference championship titles. Currently, Lukacs is second on the all-time wins list at Baylor and Mueller is second on the all-time dual match wins list.
SCOUTING TEXAS TECH: The 13th-ranked Red Raiders enter Saturday's match on a two-match win streak after dispatching of No. 20 Oklahoma and No. 54 Oklahoma State last weekend. The Red Raiders own a 20-3 overall record and are tied for third with the Bears in the Big 12 with a 3-2 mark. On the season, Texas Tech is 14-1 away from Lubbock. Tim Siegel, in his 18th-year as head coach of the Red Raiders, has a roster that features no seniors, one junior, four sophomores and six freshmen.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Red Raiders top two players are ranked in the ITA rankings as sophomore Raony Carvalho is No. 17 and sophomore Gonzalo Escobar is No. 42. Texas Tech also has two doubles teams as Carvalho and sophomore Rafael Garcia partner together to be ranked No. 15 and Escobar teams with freshman Andre Stabile to be listed at No. 76.
SERIES RECORD: The Red Raiders hold a 22-25 advantage over the Bears in the all-time series, but the since the formation of the Big 12 Conference and Matt Knoll's hiring the Bears have reeled off 15 straight wins. The last loss by Baylor in the series came in 1996 when Tech won 6-1 in Lubbock. In regular season Big 12 play the Bears own a 13-0 record over the Raiders, including a 7-0 mark in Waco and 6-0 mark in Lubbock. Saturday's match will be only the second time in the Big 12 era that both teams will be ranked inside the top-15. In 2005 a No. 1 ranked Baylor team routed the ninth-ranked Raiders, 7-0, in Lubbock.
LAST TIME AGAINST TEXAS TECH: Last season, the fifth-ranked Bears shutout the No. 34 Red Raiders, 7-0, on April 14 in Lubbock to earn at least a share of the Big 12 title. The Bears got wins at one and three doubles and won five out of the six singles matches in straight sets to control the match.
LOOKING AHEAD: Baylor will next compete in the Big 12 Championships held in Austin, Texas, April 30-May 2 where the Bears will look to win their fourth consecutive Championship title and eighth overall.
BAYLOR AGAINST BIG 12 CONFERENCE COMPETITION: Since the founding of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, the Bears have produced an 85-15 mark in league play, including a 55-4 record over the last eight years. In the 13 years, Baylor has won nine Big 12 regular season titles and seven Big 12 Championship titles. During that span, the Bears have finished with a perfect league record seven times. In the four times that they did not win the conference, the Bears finished second three times and eighth once.
BAYLOR AT HOME: The friendly confines of the Baylor Tennis Center have been very kind to the Bears. Over the eight years of its existence, Baylor is 127-7 in matches played in Waco. Under Knoll the Bears are167-22 when playing at home including matches played at the Streich Courts, the Baylor Tennis Center and various indoor courts in the area. Currently, the Bears are looking start another home winning streak after beating 38th-ranked Nebraska in their last win at home. Before that win, Baylor had an18-match win streak at the Baylor Tennis Center stopped by No. 4 Texas. The Bears have won 35 out of the last 38 in Waco. In Big 12 conference regular season matches played in Waco, the Bears are 39-9 and over the last eight seasons the Bears are 26-2 in such matches.
BAYLOR IN CONFERENCE CLOSERS: Under Matt Knoll, the Bears have gone 11-2 in the final match of conference seasons. However, Baylor's two losses in such matches came in the first two years of Knoll's tenure. Over the last five years, the Bears have closed out each conference season at home by beating opponents by an average score of 5.8 to 1.2. Last season, Baylor beat Oklahoma State 7-0 in its final conference match, while the year before the 13th-ranked Bears beat No. 20 Texas Tech, 5-2.
Quotes Head Coach Matt Knoll:
On Texas Tech:
"Clearly, they are ranked really high. They are a talented group. We know some of the guys from past matches, but they have three guys that we really haven't seen that have had great seasons for them. I think we are going to have our hands full. They are going to be a heck of a challenge for us."
On his team:
"We think we are kind of over the hump. We have been up and down and we have some results that you feel great about and some you don't feel great about. We feel like we are getting better and this will be a great chance to put that to the test."
On his No. 3 doubles team:
"This team is more physical. I think they serve the ball harder. They are a little more athletic. They move a little bit more and they can be more offensive because of that. Their results have helped us a bunch."
On Dominik Mueller:
"Dominik has struggled at times this season, but he seems like he has settled in and is playing some good tennis. He will have a big challenge against Tech, but we feel he is playing way better than he was playing at the beginning of the year. We have a lot of confidence in him and we know he is going to be great for us down the stretch."
On his seniors:
"The record speaks for itself. A couple of those guys will finish up in the top five of the all-time wins list. The things they have accomplished during their time here is pretty impressive. The team has been top-10 every year, the worst we have finished is as a NCAA Quarterfinalist and we have won a bunch of conference championships. The guys are also high quality guys and they do great in school. I know those guys have a lot of love for Baylor and it is going to be kind of an emotional day for them and certainly for us too. Those are three guys that are going to be impossible to replace, because they bring all of the intangibles. We are going to celebrate what they have brought and hopefully send them out on a high note."