May 9, 2013
Michigan State (14-13) vs. Tulsa (15-7) - 3 p.m.
No. 13 Baylor (20-5) vs. Prairie View A&M (9-15) - 6 p.m.
Winner of match 1 vs. Winner of match 2 - 6 p.m.
WACO, Texas - The 13th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team will open the 2013 NCAA Team Championships by hosting first and second round action at the Hurd Tennis Center for the ninth time in the last 11 years.
The Bears start their journey for a second NCAA Championship by facing Prairie View A&M on Friday at 6 p.m. The winner of the Bears and Panthers match will then face the victor of the Michigan State-Tulsa match on Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Bears enter NCAA play with a 20-5 record, after bowing out of the 2013 Big 12 Championships to 14th-ranked Oklahoma on April 28.
CHAMPIONSHIP QUICK NOTES
BAYLOR IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY: Baylor has amassed an impressive 43-14 (.759) all-time NCAA Championship record. The Bears have been selected to compete in post season play for 16 straight seasons including this year and have hosted the first two rounds of action 10 times. The Bears have reached the round of 16 13 times, including 11 straight trips.
LAST YEAR IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: Baylor received an at large bid for the 2012 NCAA Championships and traveled to Starkville, Miss., for first and second round action. The Bears defeated No. 31 Memphis, 4-2, in the first round, before securing a 4-3 upset victory over No. 9 Mississippi State in the second round. The Bears then traveled to Athens Ga. to compete in the Round of 16 where they met up with eighth-ranked Duke. After losing the doubles point, the Bears were never able to rebound and lost to the Blue Devils 4-0.
WHEN HOSTING THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS: Baylor is a perfect 18-0 at home in NCAA Championship play. The Bears last hosted the first and second rounds in 2011. BU has recorded 13 shutouts when hosting the opening rounds and has surrendered only nine points in those 18 matches.
TEAM STREAKS & TRENDS: The Bears have won 10 of their last 11 matches. All five of Baylor’s losses came against top-25 teams this season with three losses against top-five opponents including top ranked Virginia and second ranked UCLA.
SINGLES STREAKS & TRENDS: Sophomore Tony Lupieri currently holds the longest active win streak for the Bears after winning his last nine matches. Lupieri has played predominantly in the No. 4 position for the Bears where he has recorded an 8-1 season record.
THE ALL-IMPORTANT DOUBLES POINT: The Bears have again been dominant in winning doubles points. The Bears only lost five doubles point during the year and recorded a 2-3 record when doing so. The Bears won 20 doubles points this season including 14 sweeps of doubles matches. During conference play, the Bears did not lose a doubles point, and only lost three doubles matches.
HOME SWEET HOME: The friendly confines of the Hurd Tennis Center having been very kind to the Bears. Over the 12 years of its existence, Baylor is 158-15 in matches played at the facility. Under Knoll, the Bears are 230-30 when playing at home including matches played at the Streich Courts, the Hurd Tennis Center, the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center and various indoor courts in the area. From Jan. 26, 2002 until Jan. 29, 2006, the Bears did not lose a home contest racking up a 72-match win streak. This season, Baylor is 14-2 in home matches with an 12-2 mark at the Hurd Tennis Center.
LOOKING AHEAD: With a victory over Prairie View A&M, the Bears will have reached the second round of NCAA Competition for the 11th consecutive year. BU would face the winner of Tulsa-Michigan State in the second round.
RANKED BEARS: Baylor currently has five singles competitors ranked with Patrick Pradella, Julian Lenz, Marko Krickovic, Mate Zsiga and Tony Lupieri, ranked 24, 55, 68, 84 and 109, respectively. Zsiga pairs with fellow sophomore Diego Galeano to be ranked No. 63 in the doubles listings.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
SCOUTING PRAIRIE VIEW A&M: The Panthers earned an at large bid for the NCAA Championships after winning the SWAC Championship. PVAMU is 8-13 on the year and 0-7 on the road this season. Jackson Varney has gone 8-8 in the No. 1 singles spot, meanwhile Ronald Chidzikwe has the team’s best singles mark at 11-7.
SERIES HISTORY: The Bears are 4-0 all-time vs. Prairie View A&M with the last victory coming in 2012. In that match, BU cruised to a 7-0 victory. The two teams have met once in the NCAA play with Baylor sweeping past PVAMU, 4-0, in the first round of the event in 2005.
QUOTES – Head Coach Matt Knoll
On his team:
“We feel great. I think we had some things that we really needed to do better and the Big 12 Championships helped us see those things clearly and we have been able to come back and fix those things. I think we are going to be way better.”
On the possibility of facing Tulsa for a second time this season:
“We are a much different team. We had so many new guys when we played them this year. We had Tony and Patrick who were both first semester guys. Bobby had been here for a short time. Julian didn’t play singles in that match because he was a little hurt. It is just a really different dynamic. It feels like so long ago.”
To stay up to date with the team all season follow @BaylorMTennis on Twitter.