May 12, 2009
The sixth-ranked and sixth-seeded Baylor men's tennis team, 25-5 on the season, advanced to the NCAA Championships' round of 16 for the eighth straight season and 10th overall when it downed 30th-ranked Tulsa, 4-0. The Bears will take on No. 18 Wake Forest at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 14 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.
Wake Forest advanced to the round of 16 for the second time in three seasons after upsetting 11th-ranked Kentucky, 4-2, in second round action in Lexington, Ky. The Demon Deacons, 22-9 on the season, are led by 10th-ranked Cory Parr, a senior with a team-leading singles record of 31-8. In leading Wake Forest to the upset win over Kentucky, Parr downed sixth-ranked Bruno Agostinelli in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
The winner of Thursday's round of 16 match will face the winner of the #25 Boise State/#3 Ohio State match on Saturday, May 16 at 4 p.m.
Schedule of competition:
Thursday, May 14
3 p.m. - #6 Baylor vs. #18 Wake Forest
Possible future matches:
Quarterfinals - Saturday, May 16, 4 p.m.
Semifinals - Monday, May 18 - 1 p.m.
Finals - Tuesday, May 19, 2 p.m.
Live scoring and updates will be available at:
TICKETS: AggieAthletics.com or call 1-888-99-AGGIE
Covered Courtside/Stadium Club - All Session ($103); Single Day ($12)
Adult - All Session ($78); Single Day ($10)
Youth - All Session ($35); Single Day ($4)
This will be the first meeting between Baylor and Wake Forest. Baylor holds a 4-0 series lead over Boise State and is 1-3 against Ohio State.
BEARS HAVE HISTORY IN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS:
The sixth-seeded Bears are making their 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and have advanced to the NCAA's round of 16 for the eighth straight season and 10th overall. Baylor, currently 25-5 on the season and ranked No. 6 nationally, have been to four of the last five NCAA Final Fours, including a national title in 2004 and runner-up finish in 2005.
The 2009 NCAA Championships marked just the fifth time in Baylor's 12 NCAA postseason appearances that the Bears were on the road for first and second-round action. In 1998, its first year of playing in the NCAA Tournament, Baylor played in Austin, Texas, followed by a trip to Terre Haute, Ind., in 1999. After earning their first hosting stint in 2000, the Bears were at TCU in 2001 and were hosted by of Harvard in Boston, Mass., in 2002.
CURRENT STREAKS AND TRENDS:
The Bears, 25-5 on the year, will be looking to extend a season long 14-match win streak. Baylor has won 20 of its last 22 matches. The Bears have posted a 16-1 record at home, a 5-2 record on the road and a 4-2 record at neutral sites. The Bears have won the doubles point in 13 of the last 14 matches and are 20-1 in matches when they claim the point. Baylor is 19-5 against national ranked teams this season and 2-3 versus top-10 ranked squads.
Freshman Julian Bley owns a team-leading seven-match win streak which began on March 4. In fact he has been victorious in 11 of his last 12 singles matches. Sophomore Jordan Rux sports a five-match win streak of his own and has won eight of his last nine singles matches.
Rux and his doubles partner David Galic, currently ranked No. 18 and on a three-match win streak, began the season at 0-5. Since that time they have posted a 13-2 record at No. 1 doubles. Both losses came against team's ranked higher than the tandem.
Lukacs, ranked No. 4, is seeded in the 1-8 range, players who are seeded automatically obtain All-America status. This marks Lukacs' second appearance at the NCAA Tournament and his second time to earn All-American in singles. The talented junior becomes Baylor's fifth two-time singles All-American joining Benjamin Becker (2002, `04, `05), Benedikt Dorsch (2003, `04, `05), Johann Jooste (1999, `00) and Lars Poerschke (2006, `07, `08) in the elite club.
Lukacs leads the Bears this season with a team-best 30-8 season record. An All-Big 12 selection, Lukacs sports a 20-5 dual match record and was a perfect 6-0 in Big 12 Conference play.
Rux, currently ranked No. 45, was named the Big 12 Championships' most outstanding player after helping lead the Bears to the tournament title and sports a 25-11 season mark.
Galic and Rux, currently ranked No. 18 and sporting a 13-5 record, are one of 32 doubles teams selected to the NCAA Championships. The selections marks Galic's second trip to the doubles tournament, he and former partner Matija Zgaga fell in the round of 32 in 2007. Galic and Rux are 7-3 versus against ranked opponents
Baylor in the NCAA Tournament: The Bears are 34-10 in NCAA Championship play. Prior to winning the 2004 NCAA national championship, their highest finishes were in 1999 and 2003 when they reached the quarterfinals. The Bears were 2005 runners-up after losing to UCLA 4-3 in the championship match, lost to top-seeded Georgia in the 2006 semifinals, dropped a 4-3 semifinal thriller to Illinois in 2007 and lost in the quarterfinals to top-ranked and undefeated Virginia 4-2 in 2008.
BAYLOR'S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD BREAKDOWN:
First round - 10-2
Second round - 10-0
Round of 16 - 7-2
Quarterfinals - 4-3
Semifinals - 2-2
Finals - 1-1
HEAD COACH Matt Knoll:
Throughout his 13 seasons at the helm of the Baylor tennis program, head coach Matt Knoll has produced phenomenal results. Since arriving at Baylor in 1997, Knoll has amassed a 311-75 (.806) record over 13 seasons.
His teams have captured nine Big 12 Conference regular season titles and seven Big 12 Tournament championships, the 2004 NCAA championship, the 2005 National Team Indoor title, an NCAA runner-up finish in 2005, NCAA semifinal appearances in 2006 and 2007 and an NCAA quarterfinal appearance in 2008. In addition, he was thrice named National Coach of the Year (1999, 2005, 2008).
Baylor, the most successful men's team over the past six seasons, has been ranked no lower than No. 8 in the final poll during that span. The Bears were ranked No. 1 after winning the 2004 NCAA Championship, No. 2 in the final poll in `05, No. 4 in `03, '06 and '07 and No. 8 in 2008.
BAYLOR ON TV:
The Bears' 4-3 HP CUP victory over fourth-ranked Stanford on March 24 will be broadcast by Fox College Sports five times in the month of May. Broadcast dates include May 18 at 9:30 a.m., May 19 at 5:30 p.m., May 20 at 7:30 p.m., May 21 at 6 p.m. and May 22 at 11:30 a.m. All times listed central.
BEARS IN THE RANKINGS:
For the first time since the Jan. 6 poll, four Baylor players are ranked in the ITA singles rankings and for the first time this season, the Bears have two doubles teams ranked. In the April 28 listing, Denes Lukacs maintained his No. 4 singles rating while Jordan Rux is No. 45, Attila Bucko checked in at No. 121 and Dominik Mueller broke back into the rankings at No. 124.
BIG 12 HONORS:
A trio of Baylor men's tennis players were named All-Big 12 selections and head coach Matt Knoll was named co-Coach of the Year.
Knoll, who has guided his sixth-ranked Bears to a 23-5 record so far this season, was named Big 12 Coach of the Year for the sixth time in the league's 13 years of existence. He was also honored in 1998, '02, '03, '04 and '07. Knoll has led the Bears to nine regular season Big 12 Conference titles and seven league postseason tournament championships as well. Under Knoll the Bears are 82-13 in Big 12 play.
IN THEIR LAST MATCH: While going on the road for NCAA Championships first and second round matches for the first time since 2002, Baylor posted victories over UMKC (4-0) and No. 30 Tulsa (4-0) to advance to the NCAA Championships' round of 16.