April 25, 2014
WACO, Texas - After winning its second consecutive Big 12 regular season title, the sixth-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will travel to Fort Worth, Texas to compete in the 2014 Big 12 Championships as the No. 1 overall seed at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on the campus of TCU.
For earning the No. 1 seed, the Bears will have a first-round bye and will face the winner of fourth-seeded Oklahoma State and fifth-seeded Texas Tech on Saturday at noon. Baylor recorded wins over both of these teams in the regular season getting past TCU by a score of 6-1 on March.
"We have won a bunch of matches lately," head coach Matt Knoll said. "We have tied for the league championship and are feeling great. This is a super strong league with three top ten teams. We know we are going to have our work cut out for us, but we are excited to get up there and start playing."
Championship Quick Hits:
BAYLOR IN BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY: The Bears have produced a 32-10 record overall in Big 12 Championship play. Baylor has been at the top of the championship podium seven times. BU has won the event three out of the last seven years and also earned four straight titles from 2002-05. The Bears have made the finals 12 times, including each of the last two seasons. They are 7-4 in title matches.
LAST YEAR AT BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP: The Bears entered the 2013 Big 12 Championships in Norman, Okla., as the No. 1 seed and topped fourth-seeded TCU, 4-1, to advance to the finals where the Bears lost to second-seeded Oklahoma, 4-2.
WHEN BEING THE NO. 1 SEED: This season marks the 11th season the Bears have had the honor of being the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championships. In the previous 10 years that the Bears have held that distinction, they have advanced to the finals nine of those times, and have been crowned champions six times. BU last earned the No. 1 seed in 2013, but fell to Oklahoma in the finals.
SINGLES STREAKS & TRENDS: Junior Mate Zsiga currently leads the team with an 11-match win streak, including the Big 12 title-clinching match point in his last outing against Texas. Zsiga has played predominantly in the five spot this season and has recorded a 17-5 record in dual-match play.
THE ALL-IMPORTANT DOUBLES POINT: The Bears have again been dominant in winning doubles points. The Bears only lost four doubles points during regular-season play, but swept the doubles point four times. The Bears won 21 doubles points this season and continued on to record a win in all, but one match when recording the opening point. During conference play, the Bears did only lost three doubles matches enroute to an impressive 4-1 mark in doubles points.
TEAM STREAKS & TRENDS: Baylor enters the conference championships winning 13 of its last 14 matches. The Bears recorded a season high 11-match win streak that stretched from March 12 to April 8 and equaled their largest win streak since the 2011 season.
LOOKING AHEAD: A Baylor victory in the semifinal round of the conference championships will advance the Bears to the finals for the 13th time in the event's 18th year. Of its 12 previous appearances in finals, Baylor has won the crown seven times with its last title coming in 2009.
RANKED BEARS: Baylor currently has four singles competitors ranked in the latest ITA rankings including No. 2 Julian Lenz, No. 16 Patrick Pradella, 29th-ranked Diego Galeano and 107th-ranked Michel Dornbusch. The duo of Zsiga and Pradella is ranked No. 36 in the country.
LAST MATCH OUT: Baylor defeated No. 7 Texas 5-2 in Waco in its last match of the regular season. The win secured a share of Baylor's 12th Big 12 regular season championship.
Scouting the Opposition:
SCOUTING TEXAS TECH: Texas Tech enters the weekend ranked No. 35 in the latest ITA poll. After finishing the year with a 13-9 overall record, 1-4 in conference play, the Red Raiders were selected as the No. 4 seed. In the last meeting between the Bears and Raiders, BU swept singles play and won two of three doubles matchups to record a 7-0 victory in Waco.
SCOUTING OKLAHOMA STATE: The Cowboys enter the weekend with a 20-6 overall record, also 1-4 in conference play and are listed as the five seed. Oklahoma State, ranked No. 35, fell short in its last match of the season, dropping a 6-1 decision to No. 3 Oklahoma to close out conference play. Baylor met the Cowboys on the road this year and recorded a full sweep of OS with wins in all nine matches.
For the latest information on the Baylor men's tennis team, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorMTennis.