May 14, 2008
WACO, Texas -
Complete Release in PDF Format
THE VENUE: Michael D. Case Tennis Center - Tulsa, Oklahoma, University of Tulsa host. The Bears won the 2004 NCAA national championship at this venue.
THE BEARS: Baylor's men's tennis squad, the tournament's No. 9 seed, is making its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and have advanced the to tournament's round of 16 for the seventh straight season and ninth time overall. The Bears, currently 24-8 on the season and ranked No. 10 nationally, have been to four straight NCAA Final Fours, including a national title in 2004 (at Tulsa) and runner-up finish in 2005. The Bears downed Oral Roberts (4-0) and Texas A&M (4-2) in first and second round action to advance to Tulsa.
After enjoying a very successful fall season, Denes Lukacs has continued to shine, the sophomore owns the team's best singles record at 42-9. Senior Lars Poerschke sat out the fall portion of the season and is 17-7 on the season, including a 12-7 dual match record, all at No. 1. Sophomore Dominik Mueller owns the team's best dual match mark at 26-4 and is 35-9 overall.
Freshman Jordan Rux currently owns the squad's top win streak with 15 in a row while Lukacs follows closely with a 12-match win streak.
THE OPPONENT: Tennessee, coached by Sam Winterbotham, a former Baylor assistant coach under Matt Knoll, is the tournament's No. 8 seed. The eighth-ranked Vols, 23-3 on the season, advanced to the round of 16 with a 4-0 victory over 30th-ranked Virginia Tech. Tennessee is making its first round of 16 appearance since 2005.
Round of 16
Friday, May 16
9 a.m. - Georgia (4) vs. Pepperdine (13); Mississippi (5) vs. North Carolina (12)
Noon - Baylor (9) vs. Tennessee (8); Virginia (1) vs. Michigan (16)
3 p.m. - Texas (7) vs. Florida (10); Ohio State (2) vs. Illinois (15)
6 p.m. - Southern California (6) vs. Oklahoma State (17-32); UCLA (3) vs. Florida State (14)
The winner of the Baylor-Tennessee match will advance to the quarterfinals and face the winner of the Virginia-Michigan match at 12 p.m. on Sunday, May 18.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Head coach Matt Knoll believes in preparing his team for postseason play. His 2007-08 schedule features 15 teams that participated in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, six of which are top 16 seeds. All eight of Baylor's losses this season have come at the hands of teams that have advanced to the NCAA Round of 16: (1) Virginia, (2) Ohio State, (3) UCLA, (6) USC, (7) Texas, (12) North Carolina, (13) Pepperdine and (17-32) Oklahoma State.
Baylor in the NCAA Tournament: The Bears are 31-9 in NCAA Tournament 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 and dropped a 4-3 semifinal thriller to Illinois in 2007.
Baylor's' NCAA Tournament Record Breakdown:
First round - 9-2
Second round - 9-0
Round of 16 - 6-2
Quarterfinals - 4-2
Semifinals - 2-2
Finals - 1-1
First round - Lost to #44 TCU, 4-2 (Texas host)
First round - Def. #67 Indiana State, 4-1 (Indiana State host)
Second round - Def. #20 Harvard, 4-1
Round of 16 - Def. #5 Stanford, 4-3 (Georgia host)
Quarterfinals - Lost to #6 Georgia, 4-3
2000 - 5th seed
First round - Def. Marist College, 4-0 (Baylor host)
Second round - Def. #24 Mississippi State, 4-2
Round of 16 - Lost to #11 TCU, 4-1 (Georgia host)
First round - Lost to #40 Tulane, 4-2 (TCU host)
2002 - 6th seed
First round - Def. Hartford, 4-0 (Harvard host)
Second Round - Def. Harvard, 4-0
Round of 16 - Lost to #11 USC, 4-2 (Texas A&M host)
2003 - 2nd seed
First round - Def. UT-Arlington, 4-3 (Baylor host)
Second round - Def. #24 TCU, 4-3
Round of 16 - Def. #16 Alabama, 4-1 (Georgia host)
Quarterfinals - Lost to #6 Vanderbilt, 4-0
2004 - 3rd seed
First round - Def. Manhattan College, 4-3 (Baylor host)
Second Round - Def. #35 SMU, 4-0
Round of 16 - Def. # 14 Rice, 4-1 (Tulsa host)
Quarterfinals - Def. #22 Ohio State, 4-1
Semifinals - Def. #4 USC, 4-0
Finals - Def. #3 UCLA, 4-0
2005 - 1st seed
First round - Def. Prairie View A&M, 4-0 (Baylor host)
Second Round - Def. #29 Texas, 4-1
Round of 16 - Def. #16 Texas A&M, 4-0 (Texas A&M host)
Quarterfinals - Def. #9 Pepperdine, 4-0
Semifinals - Def. #3 Florida, 4-1
Finals - Lost to #6 UCLA, 4-3
2006 - 4th seed
First round - Def. Texas Southern, 4-0 (Baylor host)
Second Round - Def. #34 Tulsa, 4-0
Round of 16 - Def. #21 Washington, 4-1 (Stanford host)
Quarterfinals - Def. #13 Stanford, 4-3
Semifinals - Lost to #1 Georgia, 4-3
2007 - 3rd seed
First round - Def. Oral Roberts, 4-0 (Baylor host)
Second round - Def. #35 Texas A&M, 4-0
Round of 16 - Def. #17 Alabama, 4-0
Quarterfinals - Def. #27 North Carolina State, 4-0
Semifinals - Lost to #10 Illinois, 4-2
2008 - 9th seed
First round - Def. Oral Roberts, 4-0 (Baylor host)
Second round - Def. #25 Texas A&M, 4-2
Round of 16 - Vs. #9 Tennessee (Tulsa host)
ITA RANKINGS UPDATE: Baylor moved to No. 10 in the latest ITA rankings released April 28. The Bears ranked singles players, as of April 28 include: No. 8 Lars Poerschke, No. 9 Denes Lukacs and No. 79 Dominik Mueller, while doubles rankings consist of No.43 David Galic/Jordan Rux.
BAYLOR TOPS: Baylor, the most successful men's team over the past five seasons (2004-07), has been ranked no lower than No. 4 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 and No. 4 in `03, '06 and '07.
In the past four years (2004-07), Baylor is the only men's team to advance to the NCAA semifinals each year. During that span, the Bears posted a 118-14 (.894) mark and in the past six years (2002-07) Knoll's teams are an impressive 173-17 (.906).
HEAD COACH Matt Knoll: Throughout his 12 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 285-68 (.805) record over 12 seasons.
His teams have captured seven Big 12 Conference regular season titles and five Big 12 Tournament championships, including five in a row beginning in 2002, the 2004 NCAA championship, the 2005 National Team Indoor title, an NCAA runner-up finish in 2005 and NCAA semifinal appearances in 2006 and 2007. In addition, he was twice named National Coach of the Year (1999 & 2005).
Academic All-Big 12 - first team
All-Big 12 - Doubles
ITA South Central Region Player to Watch
Big 12 Player of the Week (April 21)
Most Outstanding Player, Big 12 Championships
All-Big 12 - Singles and Doubles
ITA All-America - Singles
Academic All-Big 12 - first team
ITA South Central Region Senior Player of the Year
ITA South Central Region Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship
All-Big 12 - Singles
ITA All-America - Singles (three time)
NCAA SINGLES SELECTIONS: Lars Poerschke and Denes Lukacs have been selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament singles bracket.
Poerschke, ranked No. 8, is seeded in the 1-8 range while the ninth-ranked Lukacs is a 9-16 seed. Along with the prestige of receiving a top seeding in the tournament, players who are seeded automatically obtain All-America status. This marks Poerschke's fourth appearance at the NCAA Tournament and his third time to earn All-American in singles, while Lukacs earned All-America honors for the first time.
Lukacs, making his first appearance in the individual portion of the tournament, leads the Bears this season with a team-best 41-9 season record which ranks No. 3 on Baylor single season victory list. An All-Big 12 selection, Lukacs sports a 21-4 dual match record and was named the Big 12 Championships' most outstanding player after leading the Bears to the tournament title.
Poerschke, now a three-time All-American, is 17-6 on the season after missing the fall portion of the Bears' schedule. The four-time All-Big 12 honoree is 12-6 in dual match play this spring. The senior's 116 career single victories ranks No. 3 on Baylor's singles victory list while his 100 career doubles wins ranks No. 2 on the Baylor charts.
Poerschke and Lukacs now join former Baylor standouts Benjamin Becker, Benedikt Dorsch and Johann Jooste as ITA All-America selections in singles.
BEARS ON THE RECORDS CHART:
Singles Wins, Career
1. Benjamin Becker 2001-05 141
2. Benedikt Dorsch 2002-05 119
3. Lars Poerschke 2005-present 116
Doubles Wins, Career
1. Benjamin Becker 2001-05 104
2. Lars Poerschke 2005-present 101
Matija Zgaga 2004-07 100
3. Reiner Neurohr 2000-04 99
Singles Wins, Season
1. Benedikt Dorsch 2002-03 49
2. Benjamin Becker 2003-04 44
3. Denes Lukacs 2007-08 42