Texas Women’s Preview: South Florida

Longhorns wrap up the weekend with second home match against South Florida

WHAT: No. 27 Texas (3-4) hosts South Florida.

WHERE:  Penick-Allison Tennis Center – Austin, Texas

WHEN:  Sunday, March 1 – Noon Central

LIVE SCORING:  http://www.texassports.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/012309aad.html

LAST TIME OUT:  Texas defeated Florida International by a 5-2 count on Friday, Feb. 27 in Austin.

Texas Men’s at SMU Saturday

Longhorns hit the road to take on former Southwest Conference rival SMU.

WHAT:  No. 8 Texas (9-2) takes on SMU.

WHEN:  Saturday, Feb. 28 – Noon Central

WHERE:  Turpin Tennis Stadium – Dallas, Texas

LAST TEXAS-SMU MEETING:  Texas defeated SMU by a 5-2 count on Jan. 26, 2008 in Austin.

LAST TIME OUT:  Texas defeated Arkansas by a 5-2 margin on Feb. 22 in Austin. 

THE 2009 LONGHORNS:   Ninth-year head coach Michael Center and assistant coach Ricardo Rubio, the 2008 ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year, welcome four singles starters – each of whom have earned All-America honors as Longhorns – from last year’s NCAA runner-up squad.  Junior Dimitar Kutrovsky returns after holding down the No. 1 singles slot in his first two seasons.  The native Bulgarian clinched UT’s 2008 NCAA quarterfinal win over Ohio State and its NCAA semifinal win over UCLA.  

Sophomores Kellen Damico and Ed Corrie earned ITA doubles All-America honors a season ago and earned a spot on the 2008 NCAA All-Tournament Team at No. 1 doubles.  Senior Miguel Reyes Varela, who earned ITA doubles All-America honors as a freshman, was selected to the 2008 NCAA All-Tournament Team at No. 6 singles and at No. 2 doubles with former Longhorn Luis Diaz Barriga. 

Junior Josh Zavala teamed up with Kutrovsky to land the No. 3 doubles slot on the 2008 NCAA All-Tournament Team.  UT welcomes junior Olivier Sajous, a top-50 standout who played the last two seasons at Florida Atlantic University. 

NEW ITA RANKINGS RELEASED: Texas features four student-athletes in the newly-released Campbell’s ITA College Tennis singles rankings, and all three starting doubles teams are ranked, as well.  Junior Dimitar Kutrovsky holds a No. 30 singles ranking, and sophomore Ed Corrie ranks 45th.  Junior Olivier Sajous ranks 76th, and sophomore Kellen Damico comes in at No. 99.

A&M Women Get Much Needed Win Over USF

COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M women’s tennis team got a much-needed victory tonight, snapping a three-match losing skid by defeating South Florida, 5-2, in front of 627 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

“We needed a win tonight. Desperately, we needed a win,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “A couple of days ago, I really felt like we had one of the best practices we have had all semester. The girls just got rejuvenated and got turned back around again. That really made the difference in the match.”

The Aggies (4-4) swept the doubles matches for only the second time this season to take a 1-0 lead. The duo of Morgan Frank and Christi Liles gave A&M the early edge with a convincing 8-2 victory over Iciri Rai and Jessica Zok at the No. 2 line. A&M’s Sheri Olivier and Elzé Potgieter jumped out to a 7-0 lead at No. 3 and clinched the point after defeating Allyn Mueller and Jessica Sweeting, 8-2.

Janelle Cuthbertson and Stephanie Davidson, competing together for only the second time, completed the sweep, defeating Irena Regbergher and Lauren Shumate, 8-5 at the No. 1 line.

“We won all three doubles before, but not like this,” Kleinecke said. “I was very pleased with the doubles. The energy was so high. We were in control at No. 2 and No. 3 by far, and it wasn’t that they were bad players. It was just that we took control of it and didn’t let them back up. And No. 1 doubles, this is only the second match they have played together, and I really feel like they are gelling and they have a great possibility to do some good things this year.”

Liles quickly put the Aggies up, 2-0, at the start of singles, racing to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Rai at the No. 4 line.

At the No. 2 line, Frank didn’t drop a game to Zok in the first set but then found herself trailing, 5-4, in the second set. Frank then reeled off two straight games to get the win and put A&M ahead, 3-0.

Freshman Ashley Turpin, playing in her first dual match, then clinched the win for A&M, defeating Natalia Guevara, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 6.

Cuthbertson won her first set against Sweeting, 6-3, but Sweeting cruised to a 6-0 win in the second set. With the overall team match already decided, the two played a 10-point super tiebreaker, which Sweeting narrowly won, 11-9, to give the Bulls their first point of the match.

Potgieter and Regbergher also went to a super tiebreaker at No. 1. After splitting the first two sets, Potgieter came back from a 5-3 deficit in the tiebreaker to win, 10-6, and put the Aggies up, 5-1.

The No. 5 line also was decided by a super tiebreaker. Olivier was up, 5-3, in the first set against Mueller, but Mueller rallied to take the set, 7-5. Olivier managed to even the match by taking the second set 6-4 but then trailed 6-4 in the tiebreaker. Olivier fought back and tied the score at 8-8, but Mueller won the next two points to win the set and end the match.

“Winning fairly easy at No. 4 and No. 6 helped us out a lot,” Kleinecke said. “I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get the first set at No. 5, and having another 6-0 set at No. 3 singles is another disappointing thing, but other than that, I really felt like we laid it all out there. I feel really good about this match.”

The Aggies return to the courts Thursday to host former Southwest Conference-foe and 21st-ranked TCU. First serve is at 6 p.m. at the Mitchell Tennis Center. The match also marks the return of former Aggie standout Anna Lubinsky, who is in her first year as a volunteer assistant coach for the Frogs.

The match against TCU also will be A&M’s final tune-up before opening Big 12 Conference play against Texas in Austin, Saturday, March 7.

“TCU is going to be a tough team,” Kleinecke said. “This is one of the best teams that they have had, at least in the last four or five years. It is going to be interesting to see how they come in and how we handle that. It is going to be a fun match. I’m glad we are coming off of a win to play that TCU match. We’ll go out and give it everything we’ve got and hope we get a lot of people out and have another nice night like tonight.”

 (30) Texas A&M 5, (68) South Florida 2

February 27, 2009

George P. Mitchell Tennis Center

College Station, Texas

Attendance: 627

Singles

1.         (102) Elzé Potgieter (A&M) def. Irene Regbergher (USF), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (6)

2.         Morgan Frank (A&M) def. Jessica Zok (USF), 6-0, 7-5

3.         Jessica Sweeting (USF) def. Janelle Cuthbertson (A&M), 3-6, 6-0, 1-0 (9)

4.         Christi Liles (A&M) def. Iciri Rai (USF), 6-2, 6-1

5.         Allyn Mueller (USF) def. Sheri Olivier (A&M), 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (8)

6.         Ashley Turpin (A&M) def. Natalia Guevara (USF), 6-3, 6-3

Doubles (A&M wins the point)

1.         Cuthbertson/Stephanie Davidson (A&M) def. Regbergher/Lauren Shumate (USF), 8-5

2.         Frank/Liles (A&M) def. Rai/Zok (USF), 8-2

3.         Olivier/Potgieter (A&M) def. Mueller/Sweeting (USF), 8-2

Order of finish

Doubles:  2, 3, 1

Singles:  4, 2, 6*, 3, 1, 5

*Clinched match

Notre Dame Rallies to Stun Aggie Men, 4-3

 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. The No. 13-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell short of No. 25 Notre Dame, 4-3, on the road Friday night at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

The Aggies (3-3) started off indoor play on a high note as the All-American doubles combination of senior Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) and sophomore Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.), ranked a career-best No. 8 nationally, won their seventh-straight match with an 8-5 result over No. 13-ranked Brett Helgeson and Tyler Davis at No. 1.

Sophomore Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.) and junior Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) helped A&M claim the doubles point with an 8-6 victory over Niall Fitzgerald and Matt Johnson at No. 3. It wouldn’t be the last contributions of the night by the duo against the Fighting Irish (7-6).

Lunt and Spencer quickly put away their opponents with straight-set victories at No. 5 and No. 3 singles respectively to give the Aggies a comfortable 3-0 lead. Lunt defeated Niall Fitzgerald, 6-3, 6-1, while No. 35-ranked Spencer gave up only three games to No. 122-ranked Daniel Stahl, 6-1, 6-2.

“We won the doubles point and felt good about ourselves,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “Wil and Marcus played solid straight-set matches to put us up, 3-0. It seemed like everything would go our way. We lost the first set, but battled back in the third set in all of the remaining four matches. We just couldn’t get out in front and couldn’t find that fourth point. Give credit to Notre Dame. They fought hard and did not give up tonight.”

Pollock, ranked No. 14th nationally, dropped a close three-setter to No. 18-ranked Brett Helgeson, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 1, while Krajicek, ranked No. 69 nationally, won his second-set tiebreaker in the last match standing, but couldn’t overcome a 6-3 decision in the third set to Stephen Havens at the No. 2 line.

“This was a disappointing loss,” Denton said. “We knew it was going to be a close match, but to be on the brink of winning and then losing four three-set matches, it hurts. This will likely be similar to the battle of the Alamo for us. We may be remembering the Notre Dame match throughout the season as we use this loss as a motivational tool to win close matches down the road. We will learn from it and move on. We look forward to playing another good match on Sunday at Louisville. It is going to be another close match for us and we will have to be ready.”

First serve between A&M and No. 33 Louisville (10-1) is scheduled for Sunday, March 1 at 10 a.m. (CT) at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center in Louisville, Ky.

(25) NOTRE DAME 4, (13) TEXAS A&M 3

February 27, 2009

Eck Tennis Pavilion

at South Bend, Ind.

SINGLES

No. 1            (18) Brett Helgeson (Notre Dame) def. (14) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

No. 2            Stephen Havens (Notre Dame) def. (69) Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M), 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3.

No. 3            (35) Wil Spencer (Texas A&M) def. (122) Daniel Stahl (Notre Dame), 6-1, 6-2.

No. 4            Casey Watt (Notre Dame) def. Alexey Grigorov (Texas A&M), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

No. 5            Marcus Lunt (Texas A&M) def. Niall Fitzgerald (Notre Dame), 6-3, 6-1.

No. 6            David Anderson (Notre Dame) def. Colin Hoover (Texas A&M), 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.

DOUBLES

No. 1            (8) Krajicek-Pollock (Texas A&M) def. (13) Helgeson-Tyler Davis, 8-5.

No. 2            Havens-Watt (Notre Dame) def. Klores-Grigorov (Texas A&M), 8-2.

No. 3            Lunt-Spencer (Texas A&M) def. Fitzgerald-Matt Johnson (Notre Dame), 8-6.

ORDER OF FINISH

Doubles: 2, 3, 1

Singles: 5, 3, 4, 1, 6, 2*

 

Baylor Men’s Tennis Slips Past No. 9 Ole Miss

10th ranked Bears post dramatic 4-3 win over Rebels.

WACO – The 10th-ranked Baylor’s men’s tennis team slipped past ninth-ranked Ole Miss, 4-3, at the Baylor Tennis Center on Friday evening. Junior Denes Lukacs, clinched the match for the Bears with a second-set tiebreak win over 39th-ranked Jonas Berg.

After dropping the doubles point, the Bears won four singles matches to produce the victory and raise their record to 8-3 while Ole Miss drops to 7-2 on the year. 

“It was a huge win for us tonight against such a quality team, especially without the doubles point, it was a big step up for our program,” said head coach Matt Knoll. “I thought we had huge performances from a lot of guys. Maros (Horny) winning quickly gave us a lot of momentum after losing doubles. Dominik (Mueller) has kind of struggled lately and he played great tennis. And of course Attila (Bucko) and Denes (Lukacs) winning under pressure was fantastic. I couldn’t be more happy about how those guys played with such tremendous heart.”

Doubles was a hard-fought contest but Ole Miss prevailed, taking wins on courts one and two. Ole Miss’ tandem of Devin Britton and Tucker Vorster walked off the court first with an 8-5 win over Attila Bucko and Marc Bruche at No. 2 doubles. On court one, fourth-ranked Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge and Baylor’s David Galic and Jordan Rux, were locked in a 6-6 tie when the Ole Miss duo broke Rux’s serve then ten Berge held his serve to allow the Rebel tandem to clinch the doubles point. Baylor’s lone doubles victory came when Denes Lukacs and Maros Horny claimed a 9-8 (7-2) tiebreak win over Christoph and Marcel Thiemann. The Baylor tandem fell behind 0-2 before reeling off wins in the next five games but the Ole Miss team claimed the next five to take a 7-5 lead. BU won four of the next five games to claim the win.

Singles turned out to be a thrilling contest. Horny, a freshman, made quick work of Marcel Thiemann at No. 6, winning 6-2, 6-1, next junior Dominik Mueller breezed past 79th-ranked Bram ten Berge, 6-1, 6-3, on court four to put the Bears up 2-1. The Rebels countered with two wins at courts three and two when 32nd-ranked Kalle Norberg eased past No. 121 Julian Bley, 6-2, 6-1, and the 40th-ranked Britton posted a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Rux, ranked No. 38. The two wins would five the Rebels a 3-2 lead.

At that point, Baylor needed to win the two remaining matches to claim the victory. Lukacs, on court one, and Bucko on court five, had each won first sets, 6-3 and 6-2, respectively. Bucko dropped the second set of his match, 6-3, making things interesting. Lukacs sprinted out to a 5-1 second-set advantage and looked poised to claim the match, however, Berg won five straight games to go up 6-5. Meanwhile, Bucko went on to win the third set and tie the match at 3-3, putting the pressure all on Lukacs’ shoulder. Lukacs claimed the 12th game of the set to even the score at 6-6. He then raced out to a 3-1 advantage in the tiebreaker but Berg closed it to within a point at 5-4. Lukacs won the next two points, clinching the match for the Bears.

Baylor will now travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday, March 1 at noon. The Bears will try to snap Ohio State’s 79-match home win streak. The third-ranked Buckeyes enter the match with a record of 12-1.

“They have a huge home win streak going, they just never lose there,” said Knoll. They’re going to have the OSU band there, cheerleaders and around 500 people will be there, it’ll be indoors, it will be a great environment. And, we’ll be the underdog for the third straight match.”

Live stats and updates for the match will be available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com

#10 Baylor 4, #9 Mississippi 3
Feb 27, 2009 at Waco, Texas (Baylor Tennis Center)

Singles competition

1. #10 Denes Lukacs (BU) def. #39 Jonas Berg (MISS) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)

2. #40 Devin Britton (MISS) def. #38 Jordan Rux (BU) 7-5, 6-2

3. #32 Kalle Norberg (MISS) def. #121 Julian Bley (BU) 6-2, 6-1

4. Dominik Mueller (BU) def. #79 Bram ten Berge (MISS) 6-1, 6-2

5. Attila Bucko (BU) def. Otto Sauer (MISS) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3

6. Maros Horny (BU) def. Marcel Thiemann (MISS) 6-2, 6-1

 

Doubles competition

1. #4 Jonas Berg/Bram ten Berge (MISS) def. David Galic/Jordan Rux (BU) 8-6

2. Devin Britton/Tucker Vorster (MISS) def. Attila Bucko/Marc Bruche (BU) 8-5

3. Denes Lukacs/Maros Horny (BU) def. Christoph Thiemann/Marcel Thiemann (MISS) 9-8 (7-2)

 

Match Notes

Mississippi 7-2; National ranking #9

Baylor 8-3; National ranking #10

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,4,3,2,5,1)

Texas Women Hold Off Fla. International, 5-2

Longhorns take the doubles point, withstand strong singles effort from FIU to pick up third win of the season.

                AUSTIN – Texas (3-4) captured the doubles point and withstood a strong early singles effort from Florida International to post a 5-2 victory over the visiting Panthers Friday afternoon at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

                The match opened with a tight doubles session that ultimately went in the Longhorns’ favor.  UT senior Marija Milic and junior Stephanie Davison teamed up at first singles for an 8-2 win over FIU’s Mariana Muci and Maria Pazo.  The Panthers responded with a win at second doubles, leaving the outcome of the doubles session to be decided at the third position.  Sophomores Amanda Craddock and Caroline Larsson went to a tiebreaker with FIU’s Maria Spenceley and Priscilla Castillo, and the Texas duo prevailed, 9-8 (3) to nail down the doubles point for the Longhorns.

                Florida International responded quickly with straight-set victories at the first and fifth positions to take a 2-1 lead.  Craddock pulled out a first-set tiebreaker against FIU’s Maria Vallasciani at sixth singles and cruised to a 6-1 second-set win to even the match at two points apiece. 

                Larsson outlasted FIU’s Muci in the first set at second singles, 7-5, and took the following set, 6-2 to stake Texas to a 3-2 lead.  Lancaster took the first set off of FIU’s Spenceley at fourth singles, though Spenceley seized the second set to force a third.  Lancaster took over from there and blanked Spenceley in the final set, 6-0, to produce the clinching point for the Longhorns. 

                On court three, UT sophomore Maggie Mello engaged in a lengthy three-set battle with Castillo and pulled out a victory, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. 

                Texas wraps up its weekend on Sunday, March 1 when it hosts South Florida at noon.

Texas 5, Florida International 2

Doubles – Order of Finish:  1, 2, 3

1 Davison/Milic (UT) def. Muci/Pazo (FIU) – 8-2

2 Brito/Vallasciani (FIU) def. Damico/Mello (UT) – 8-5

3 Craddock/Larsson (UT) def. Spenceley/Castillo (FIU) – 9-8 (3)

Singles – Order of Finish:  1, 5, 6, 2, 4, 3

1 Liset Brito (FIU) def. Krista Damico (UT) – 6-2, 6-3

2 Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Mariana Muci (FIU) – 7-5, 6-2

3 Maggie Mello (UT) def. Priscilla Castillo (FIU) – 7-5, 4-6, 6-4

4 Sarah Lancaster (UT) def. Maria Spenceley (FIU) – 7-5, 1-6, 6-0

5 Maria Pazo (FIU) def. Stephanie Davison (UT) – 6-0, 6-2

6 Amanda Craddock (UT) def. Maria Vallasciani (FIU) – 7-6 (3), 6-1 

Tough Road Test for Baylor Women This Weekend

WACO – WOMEN’S TENNIS SET TO FACE #2 GEORGIA, #4 GEORGIA TECH

The seventh-ranked Baylor women’s tennis team will play its first true road matches of the season as the Lady Bears travel to face second-ranked Georgia on Saturday and fourth-ranked Georgia Tech on Sunday. Baylor is coming off a 4-2 win over No. 10 Miami (Fla.) last weekend. The match, scheduled for the Baylor Tennis Center, was moved to the indoor courts at the Ennis Racquet Club. Live results and streaming video for the Georgia match can be found at www.GeorgiaDogs.com, while live stats for the Georgia Tech match will be available at www.RamblinWreck.com.

LAST TIME AGAINST GEORGIA, GEORGIA TECH
Jana Bielikova won a second-set tie breaker at number-five singles as fifth-ranked Baylor defeated sixth-ranked Georgia 4-3 at the Baylor Tennis Center. Baylor took the early lead with wins at number-one and number-two doubles to secure the 1-0 lead. Second-ranked Zuzana Zemenova and Lenka Broosova defeated Kelley Hyndman and Yvette Hyndman 8-2 at flight one, while No. 41 Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanivuk topped Naoko Ueshima and Monika Dancevik 8-4 at number two. After falling behind 4-1, Karolina Filipiak and Zuzana Chmelerova rallied for four straight games to take a 5-4 lead before falling in a tiebreaker 8-7 (4) to Adrienne Elsberry and Cameron Ellis. Ormond gave the Lady Bears a two-point advantage with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Ueshima at number-two singles. Zemenova topped K. Hyndman at flight one singles in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, to put Baylor up 3-0. Elsberry downed Filipiak in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 at number-six singles to get Georgia on the board, and Y. Hyndman added another point for the Bulldogs at flight two with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win over Broosova. Bielikova sealed the victory for the Lady Bears at number-five singles in a second-set tiebreaker over Ellis, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Dancevic defeated Stanivuk 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at flight four singles, giving Georgia its third point.

The No. 11 Bears once again prevailed on the singles courts to capture a 6-1 win over No. 13 Georgia Tech. Baylor lost the doubles point but earned all six singles points. The Yellow Jackets stormed through the doubles matches winning all three to earn their only point of the day. Iva Mihaylova andZuzana Krchnakova were defeated by Kacie Anson and Alison Silverio 8-2 on court three while No. 39 duo Zuzana Zemenova and Daniela Covellofell to Kelly Anderson and Whitney McCray 8-2 on court two. Georgia Tech’s No. 12 pair Kristi Miller and Lyndsay Shosho also won with an 8-3 score over Baylor’s No. 28 team Zuzana Cerna and Klara Zrustova on court one. After the doubles disappointment, the Bears took revenge on the Yellow Jackets with all six singles wins. No. 16 Cerna finished first on court two and tallied Baylor’s first point with her 6-0, 7-5 win against No. 51 Shosho. The Bears then took a 2-1 lead when No. 92 Covello defeated McCray 6-3, 7-5 on court four. In a showdown on court one, the NCAA’s defending singles champion played against the nation’s currently top ranked player. No. 8 Zemenova battled with No. 1 Miller as the two traded off winning points until Zemenova clinched both sets 6-3, 6-3 for the upset win. On court six, Krchnakova sealed the win for the Bears as she defeated Christy Striplin 6-4, 7-5. Courts three and five went to third sets as Baylor worked to finish off Georgia Tech. Mihaylova posted the second upset of the afternoon on court five as she bested No. 76 Anderson 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Moments later Zrustova added a third upset with her 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over No. 61 Silverio.

LAST TIME OUT
The seventh-ranked Baylor tennis team defeated No. 10 Miami, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon to snap its two-match losing streak. The match, originally scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center, was rescheduled for Saturday night at the Ennis Indoor Tennis Courts due to strong winds in the Central Texas area. Baylor opened the match by winning the doubles point. Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanivuk defeated Michaela Kissell and Alessa Waibel, 8-4, on court two. Julia Cohen and Laura Vallverdu upset the seventh-ranked pair of Lenka Broosova and Csilla Borsanyi, 9-7, on court one. On court three, Nina Sercerbegovic and Kasia Siwosz held on to defeat Bianca Eichkorn and Gabriela Mejia in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (5), to secure the doubles point. In singles action, No. 26 Ormond defeated No. 34 Vallverdu, 7-5, 6-4, on court two to give Baylor a 2-0 lead. Miami got on the board on court four as No. 51 Eichkorn topped No. 75 Broosova, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. The loss is the second straight for Broosova, whose 23-match dual-match winning streak was broken last week against Duke. No. 20 Cohen defeated No. 54 Borsanyi, playing her first match of the season on court one, by a score of 6-4, 7-5. No. 40 Jelena Stanivuk rallied from a 5-4 third-set deficit to defeat No. 61 Kissell, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5), on court three. Sercerbegovic downed Claudia Wasilewski, 6-0, 6-2, on court six to clinch the match for Baylor. On court five, Karolina Filipiak and Mejia did not finish as their match started the second set. 

Baylor Men to Host Ole Miss Friday

Waco – The 10th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team will look to knock off its second straight top-10 ranked opponent Friday, when it faces No. 9 Mississippi at 3 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center.

The Bears are 5-0 in home matches in the spring season after defeating No. 67 Utah, 7-0, No. 58 Georgia Tech, 6-1, No. 62 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 7-0, No. 6 UCLA, 4-3 and St. Edwards, 7-0.

The Rebels will be the Bears’ third top-10 ranked opponent of the season. Baylor is 1-1 in the two previous matches after defeating No. 6 UCLA, 4-3 on Sunday, Feb. 22 and tripping against eight-ranked Tennessee, 4-0 on Feb. 13.

“We want to build on what we did against UCLA,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “I thought we played much better at doubles than we have in the past.”

In Sunday’s match against sixth-ranked UCLA, the Bears ended a three-match streak in which they had lost the doubles point. Senior David Galic returned to the Baylor doubles line-up after being sidelined with an injury for the past six matches, which caused Knoll to shuffle his pairs around.

“Certainly having Dave (David Galic) makes a big difference,” Knoll said. “I think some of the other guys are catching onto some of the concepts well, and doing some good things.”

In doubles play the Bears have a 12-11 record in dual match competition.

“We’ve got to keep showing up, ready to play, enthusiastic day in and day out, because our schedule is just so darn tough,” Knoll said. “There is just no time to get too excited about yourself or too down on yourself.”

In singles, ITA All-American and 10th-ranked Denes Lukacs is riding a five-match win streak that has produced a 5-2-spring record. Baylor’s two other ranked players No. 38 Jordan Rux and No. 121 Julian Bley have posted a 6-4 and a 5-5 record, respectively in dual match competition. Two juniors occupy the four and five positions in the Bears lineup, as Dominik Mueller and Attila Bucko are both 6-3 in singles play and have each one four of their last six matches. Maros Horny, a freshman, had his five-match win streak stopped Sunday against UCLA, but rebounded to defeat his St. Edwards opponent, which raised his season record to 6-2 record.

“The thing that we are really striving for is to get into every match at all nine spots and we just haven’t done that yet,” Knoll said. “We feel like we’ve got enough out there to get our four points against anybody.”

The Mississippi Rebels come into the Friday match sporting a 6-1-spring record.

Ole Miss will play No. 32 TCU on Thursday at the Baylor Tennis Center, before facing the Bears on Friday.

The TCU match will be the first outdoor match of the season for the Rebels.

In their last action, Ole Miss went 2-1 at the ITA National Team Indoor, defeating 16th-ranked Florida State and then seventh-ranked Florida, 4-1 after falling to No. 6 Southern Cal, 4-0 in first round action.

The Rebels’ squad has four players in the latest ITA National Rankings, including senior Jonas Berg, who is ranked No. 39 with a 5-0 dual match record. Junior Kalle Norberg is ranked No. 32 with a 4-1 record at No. 3 singles.

The other two ranked Rebels are last week’s SEC Freshman of the Week and 40th-ranked, Devin Britton, who comes in with a 3-3 record in dual matches and No. 79 Bram ten Berge, a senior.

“Our goal is not to win every single match the rest of the way,” Knoll said. “Our goal is to just play better and better and hopefully through these tough matches we will be a better team.”

The Bears are 0-2 all-time versus Mississippi with losses in 2004 and 1987.

The match against Mississippi begins a string of contests in which the Bears will play No. 3 Ohio State on March 1, and No. 1 Virginia, March 13, with a conference opener against No. 56 Oklahoma squeezed in on March 4.

“We can’t take our eye off the ball,” Knoll said. “We got to keep coming and bringing it everyday, because if we do get off track we are going to get a pretty big losing streak going.”

The Bears have replaced a match with Hardin-Simmons University on March 4 at 7 p.m. with a contest against Mary Hardin Baylor. The Bears will still play Oklahoma at 3 p.m. that day.

 

Live stats for the match against Mississippi can be found on Baylorbears.com. 

A&M Men Head North to Face Notre Dame and Louisville

COLLEGE STATION – The No. 13-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team gets ready for a pair of indoor road matches in a span of three days at No. 25 Notre Dame and No. 33 Louisville this weekend.

First serve between the Aggies and Fighting Irish is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in South Bend, Ind., while A&M and Louisville will face each other on Sunday, March 1 at 10 a.m. (CT) at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center in Louisville, Ky.

The Aggies (3-2) received good news on Thursday as freshman Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) was certified through the NCAA Eligibility Center to compete for A&M in this weekend’s matches. The 6-foot-1 right-hander, one of the top five players in the world in the ITF juniors rankings, chose A&M over several other top college tennis programs in the country. He previously trained at the Roddick Total Tennis Academy in San Antonio, Texas.

Over the weekend, Grigorov received a wild-card entry and competed as an amateur in the singles main draw of the Harlingen Country Club Futures tournament held in Harlingen, Texas. He eventually lost to fifth-seeded and No. 382-ranked American Jesse Witten, but it was an opportunity for him to get some match play in, while waiting for a ruling by the NCAA.

“Alexey is going to be a major contributor for us,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “We are going to be a lot better in singles and doubles, because he is a heck of a player. Aggie fans are going to be excited to watch him play over the next couple of years. He has a lot of experience and has played some big time matches. He has been working hard over the last month just waiting for this opportunity. We are very excited to have him on our team.”

Notre Dame (6-6) and Louisville (10-1) will present tough competition, especially in the doubles. The Fighting Irish boast the No. 12-ranked doubles combination of Brett Helgeson and Tyler Davis, while the Cardinals have the sixth-best duo in the nation in Austen Childs and Simon Childs.

Texas A&M’s top tandem of senior All-American Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) and sophomore All-American Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) are currently ranked a career-best No. 8 nationally. Both have put together a six-match win streak including an undefeated 5-0 mark in dual matches. The 2008 NCAA Doubles Championship semifinalists have posted a 13-4 overall record this season.

“Both of those two doubles teams are going to be formidable challenges for Conor and Austin,” Denton said. “With an eight-game pro-set indoors where conditions are pretty fast, if you make one bad volley or have one bad serve, it is hard to get back into it. They will have to be really alert and will not be able to play loose points and loose games. You have to play every point. They have been running hot lately and had some good success. If they are on their game, there is no better team in the country than them.”

A&M has practice indoors for the last week in preparation for the expected conditions. Notre Dame is looking to rebound from a pair of losses to third-ranked Ohio State on Feb. 21 and No. 31 Kentucky on Feb. 23, while U of L is off to its best start since the 1998 season. The Aggies have won the last three out of four meetings with the Fighting Irish and hold a 1-0 advantage in the all-time series with the Cardinals.

“They are both good indoor teams and it will be two close matches for us,” Denton said. “They are both playing at home in familiar surroundings and it is going to be a challenge for us. Right now, we are playing better as a team. Our guys are starting to get the hang of playing indoors. The more they play, the more comfortable they are going to get. It forces some of our players out of their comfort zones and what they are accustomed to. In the end, it is going to make us a lot better team when we get back outside in March.”

With the addition of Grigorov to the lineup, Denton says it makes the team a lot stronger especially with four players who can play at No. 1. The Aggies are led by Pollock who is ranked No. 14 nationally in singles followed by sophomore Wil Spencer (Ponce de Leon, Fla.) at No. 35 and Krajicek at No. 69.

“The addition of Alexey gives us the opportunity to compete with some really big teams,” Denton said. “We have a lot of depth this season and it has definitely lifted the spirits of our entire team.”

Live statistics will only be available for Friday’s match at Notre Dame on www.und.com or via a live scoring link on www.AggieAthletics.com.

Pollock Eyes 50…Two-time All-Big 12 Conference player Conor Pollock is one singles win shy of gaining entrance into the Career 50-Win Club in the A&M record books. He has compiled 75 overall career doubles victories to date and has already reached 50 career doubles victories in dual matches with an 8-5 victory over No. 12-ranked Emanu Brighiu and Adrian Simon of TCU on Feb. 18 with the help of doubles partner Austin Krajicek.

Catch The Coach Denton Radio Show On Mondays…Listen to the Steve Denton Radio Show live every Monday at 4:15 p.m. (CT) on Chip Howard’s SportsTalk broadcast live on KZNE 1150 AM The Zone in College Station. Denton joins Chip Howard for the only college tennis coach’s radio show in the nation. Each week, the duo will recap and preview matches for the nationally-ranked Aggies. The weekly radio show airs every Monday from February through the NCAA Championships and can also be heard worldwide on the Internet at: www.KZNE.com.

Texas Women’s Tennis Preview: Florida International

Longhorns return to action Friday afternoon against Florida International.

WHAT: No. 28 Texas (2-4) hosts No. 48 Florida International

WHERE:  Penick-Allison Tennis Center – Austin, Texas

WHEN:  Friday, Feb. 27 – 1:30 p.m. Central

LIVE SCORING:  http://www.texassports.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/012309aad.html

LAST TIME OUT:  Texas suffered a 4-3 defeat to Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 21 in Austin.