Big weekend in Lubbock, as No. 13 Tech hosts No. 5 Texas

With non-conference match play complete, the No. 13 Texas Tech men’s team opens Big 12 Conference play on Sat., April 3, as it hosts No. 5 Texas at 12 p.m. at the McLeod Tennis Center.

The Red Raiders (17-1) are coming off a 4-3 win over then No. 27 Fresno State on Tuesday and have won 15-straight matches, including seven straight against ranked teams.

In the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, Tech remained at No. 13 after not playing last week, while sophomore Raony Carvalho jumped to No. 6 in singles, making him the highest-ranked player in the Big 12. Sophomore Gonzalo Escobar dropped to No. 72, while he and freshman Andre Stabile are now No. 40 in doubles. Carvalho and sophomore Rafael Garcia are No. 20 in doubles as well.

With conference matches underway, the Big 12 has five of its seven men’s tennis teams ranked in the top 20.

At Saturday’s match against No. 5 Texas, Tech will be giving out free hamburgers and hot dogs, while drawings will take place for a big screen television and gift cards. Body Works will also be providing inflatables for kids. There will also be giveaways such as t-shirts and visors.

Krajicek, Broosova named Big 12 Players of the Week

Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) and Lenka Broosova (Baylor) earned weekly Big 12 player awards. This marked the second career honor for Krajicek and the fifth for Broosova.

Big 12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week
Austin Krajicek, Texas A&M, Jr., Brandon, Fla./Laurel Springs School

Krajicek, ranked No. 21 nationally, defeated two higher-ranked opponents to help the Aggies start conference play, 2-0. The junior No. 1 singles player defeated 20th-ranked Andre Daescu (Oklahoma) in straight sets of 6-3, 6-4 as Texas A&M defeated Oklahoma (5-2). He followed with a win against Oklahoma State’s 19th-ranked Oleksandr Nedovyesov. The Aggies shut out OSU, 7-0. Krajicek is on a 4-0 win streak against players ranked in the top 40. He also won both of his double matches over the weekend.

Big 12 Women’s Tennis Player of the Week
Lenka Broosova, Baylor, Sr., Banska Bystrica, Slovakia/Osemrocne Sportove Gymnazium

Broosova helped Baylor remain undefeated in league play (5-0) by winning two matches against ranked opponents. The fifth-ranked senior defeated SMU’s No. 20 Marta Lesniak in straight sets (6-2, 6-1) and Texas’ No. 23 Aeriel Ellis (6-3, 4-6, 6-0) at No. 1 singles. The Bears won 4-0 versus SMU and 5-2 against Texas. In doubles action, she and her partner posted two wins. Broosova holds a six-match winning streak in singles and has four straight victories in doubles.

2010 BIG 12 TENNIS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Date Men’s Player of the Week Women’s Player of the Week
March 8 Dimitar Kutrovsky, Texas, Sr. Caroline Larsson, Texas, Jr.
March 16 Jeff Dadamo, Texas A&M, Jr.
Nina Secerbegovic, Baylor, So.
March 23 Raony Carvalho, Texas Tech, So. Morgan Frank, Texas A&M, Jr.
March 30 Austin Krajicek, Texas A&M, Jr. Lenka Broosova, Baylor, Sr.

A mess at the top of the rankings

OK, I promised I’d get something up about the new TexasCollegeTennis.com Team Rankings I created today. I haven’t had enough time to really get into them, but here are the links.

Men
http://www.texascollegetennis.com/?page_id=2550

Women
http://www.texascollegetennis.com/?page_id=2546

The men’s remain very stable at the top with Virginia and Tennessee creating a bit of distance between themselves and the next group of Ohio State and Texas. USC has fallen a bit further behind. This afternoon, while running the rankings, I decided to try something more in line with what the ITA does. When I did this, nothing really changed. A few teams were out a place or two but only a handful within the top-100 were more than 5 places different and none were more than 11 spots out of whack.

The women’s rankings are a different story. I now have Florida, Duke, Baylor UNC, Notre Dame, Northwestern and UCLA as the top-7. In the system they are all so statistically close to each other, literally within 0.086%, from first to seventh. It is a joke how close they are. That is why I tried to run them the additional times, using each week as the start week and re-running. When I did this, Duke and Florida flip-flop, the rest of the top-7 is unchanged and they get even CLOSER together.

Where you see the biggest difference is further down where teams like TCU, Alabama and Kentucky all drop 20-30 spots. Even teams like Texas A&M drop 12 spots. A few like Akron, Oklahoma and Cal Poly all move up significantly.

My brain isn’t sharp enough this late to delve into the details, so I will look over them and report with more later.

Baylor retains HP Cup, tops Stanford, 4-3

Attila Bucko’s three-set victory gave the 11th-ranked men’s tennis team the point it was looking for as the Bears pulled off a 4-3 upset of seventh-ranked Stanford on Tuesday afternoon at the Taube Family Tennis Center.

“It is huge,” head coach Matt Knoll said of the win. “To be able to come out here to California and get through that match is really good for our team. We feel like we are improving. It absolutely does make us feel more confident. We feel like we are rounding into shape. It is exciting, because there is a lot of enthusiasm in that group and that is infectious.”

The win improves Baylor’s record to 16-3, while earning the Bears fourth straight win in the HP Cup series versus the storied Stanford program. The Cardinal falls to 11-4 on the season, after coming into the match with a four-match win streak. In the match, Baylor also got its second victory of the year over a top-10 program after also knocking off No. 8 UCLA by a 4-3 score on March 11 in Los Angeles.

Overall, Baylor has never lost to Stanford, now holding a 10-0 record over the Cardinal in a series that dates back to 1999. In the three previous meetings of the HP Cup, Baylor edged fourth-ranked Stanford 4-3 last year, recorded a 5-2 victory over No. 40 Stanford in 2008 and earned a 7-0 sweep of the 27th-ranked Cardinal in 2007.

The HP Cup is a yearly meeting between the two schools that is sponsored by the Hewlett-Packard Company. The company’s CEO, Mark Hurd, attended Baylor in the 1970’s and played tennis for the university. The company’s main offices are located in Palo Alto, Calif., near Stanford’s campus.

The Bears’ got off to a great start in doubles as the No. 2 team of Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin dismantled the 31st-ranked team in the nation of Alex Clayton and Richard Wire, 8-0. Lukacs and Maytin improve to 9-2 in the spring season and have now won three straight.

“We felt like that could be a pretty good team, they have just been horrifically inconsistent,” Knoll said of his No. 2 doubles squad. “They just dialed in and played every point and played an exceptional match. Unfortunately, we did not capitalize on it by winning the doubles point.”

However, as Lukacs and Maytin were walking off the courts, Baylor’s two other doubles tandems were both trailing in their matches, 5-2. In the end the Bears were unable to overcome the large deficit as the No. 3 team of Julian Bley and Maros Horny fell to Denis Lin and Matt Kandath, 8-4. In only third match together this spring the Baylor duo suffered its first loss.

The Baylor twosome at the No. 1 spot made things interesting by cutting its 5-2 disadvantage to 6-4, but the top-ranked duo in the latest ITA doubles listings of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher outlasted Jordan Rux and Attila Bucko, 8-5, to give the Cardinal the doubles point. Rux and Bucko fall to 2-2 in dual match play.

Baylor has now lost four out of the last seven doubles points after starting the year 10-2 in that category. However, by winning the match the Bears evened their record at 3-3 when losing the first point.

“Our whole thing is you have to look ahead,” Knoll said. “We were disappointed we didn’t win the doubles, but once it is over you just have to look ahead. We understood we had to come out with a sense of urgency, because our backs were against the wall.”

In singles, Baylor responded to the challenge quickly as Dominik Mueller, at the No. 5 position, dispatched of Lin 6-4, 6-1 to knot the match at one point apiece. The 32nd-ranked Rux, playing at the two spot, kept the momentum going for the Bears as he beat 45th-ranked Alex Clayton 6-3, 6-3. Mueller moved his record to 14-3, while Rux is now 13-2.

“Both guys played great,” Knoll said. “Both beat great opponents. Alex Clayton had beaten Jordan in the past a couple of times, so Jordan felt he had a lot to prove and he came out and played a great match.

“Dominik had an incredibly tight first set, but once he got through that he was able to race to the finish line in the second, which was the first match off, so it gave us some great momentum.”

The fifth-ranked player in the country, Klahn, would then give the Cardinal a lift by taking down 19th-ranked Lukacs 7-6 (3), 6-3 to once again tie the match. Lukacs falls to 13-3 and has lost two of his last four.

Maytin, then proceeded to win his fifth straight match to put Baylor on the brink of victory. The freshman got past Wire 6-1, 7-6 (5) to improve to 10-3.

“Roberto has got himself in shape,” Knoll said. “He is a great competitor. He is a really good guy and has really bought into the team concept. He has just taken off like a rocket right now. We are excited to see how good he can get over the remaining course of the year.”

The Bears would seal the victory at the No. 3 spot as the 109th-ranked Bucko claimed the three-set victory over No. 93 Thacher 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. The senior now owns a 12-2 record and a five match win streak.

“It was like a lot of matches,” Knoll said of Bucko’s contest. “They kind of go back and forth. I think that his opponent played way better in the second set then he did in the first and really took it to Attila. Then in the third, it was just kind of a battle of wills and Attila was just fortunate to hold it together. He showed a lot of fight to get it done.”

With the match decided, Bley dropped a 7-5, 7-6 (5) decision to Greg Hirschman. It was the second loss for the sophomore, who fell to 10-2 in the dual match season.

“We are just getting better,” Knoll said. “We are just clarifying our roles and understanding what we are supposed to be doing. We still have a lot of improving to do, if we are going to achieve some of our goals down the road.”

The Bears will now start conference play in search of their 10th Big 12 title on April 7 against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas at 6 p.m.

Match Notes: Baylor improves to 16-9 in the state of California during Matt Knoll’s 13+ years as head coach. The Bears also improve to 241-87 against ranked opponents and 39-36 against top 10-ranked opponents under Knoll. Baylor has won 31 of its last 35 matches.

#11 Baylor Bears 4, #7 Stanford 3
March 30, 2010 at Stanford, Calif.
(Taube Family Tennis Center)
Singles Competition
1. #5 Bradley Klahn (STAN) def. #19 Denes Lukacs (BU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
2. #32 Jordan Rux (BU) def. #45 Alex Clayton (STAN) 6-3, 6-3
3. #109 Attila Bucko (BU) def. #93 Ryan Thacher (STAN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
4. Roberto Maytin (BU) def. Richard Wire (STAN) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Dominik Mueller (BU) def. Denis Lin (STAN) 6-4, 6-1
6. Greg Hirshman (STAN) def. Julian Bley (BU) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)

Doubles competition
1. #1 Bradley Klahn/Ryan Thacher (STAN) def. Attila Bucko/Jordan Rux (BU) 8-5
2. Denes Lukacs/Roberto Maytin (BU) def. #31 Alex Clayton/Richard Wire (STAN) 8-0
3. Matt Kandath/Denis Lin (STAN) def. Julian Bley/Maros Horny (BU) 8-4

Match Notes:
Baylor Bears 16-3; National ranking #11
Stanford 11-4; National ranking #7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,2,1,4,3,6)

Tech men continue winning ways, edge Fresno State, 4-3

The No. 13 Texas Tech men’s tennis team extended its winning streak to 15 matches with a 4-3 win over No. 27 Fresno State on Tuesday afternoon at the McLeod Tennis Center.

The match started with Fresno State (13-7) sweeping Tech (17-1) in doubles to claim the doubles point to take at 1-0 lead heading into singles. The doubles-point loss snapped a seven-match streak in which the Red Raiders had won the doubles portion of the match.

Tech started off singles with a win at No. 2 as 63rd-ranked Gonzalo Escobar easily defeated 123rd-ranked Tejesvi Veerepalli, 6-0, 6-1, to tie the score at 1-1. From there, the match was back and forth as the Bulldogs won the next match at No. 6. The Red Raiders knotted it up a 2-2 with a victory at No. 1 as 15th-ranked Raony Carvalho beat Mirko Zapletal, 6-3, 6-4. Fresno State then won at No. 3, and the Red Raiders got a win from Andre Stabile as he dropped David Ayoun, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 4.

The match came down to the No. 5 spot. Vitor Manzini had won the first set 6-4 and was up 4-3 when Stabile’s match ended. Manzini broke Siddharth Alapati to go up 5-3, but Alapati broke right back to put the score at 5-4. Manzini fought back to break again and to clinch his match, 6-4, and give Tech the victory.

“We were fortunate enough to get the win today,” said head coach Tim Siegel. “Fresno State is a good team and I have a lot of respect for Jay (Udwadia), and they even played without their No. 2 player today. I was pleased with our win but we are going to have to step it up beginning Saturday (vs. Texas) for Big 12 play.”

Tech begins Big 12 Conference action on Sat., April 3, as it hosts No. 5 Texas at 12 p.m. at the McLeod Tennis Center.

#13 Texas Tech 4, #27 Fresno State 3
McLeod Tennis Center
Lubbock, Texas
Doubles (order of finish: 3, 2, 1)
1. Leiby/Veerepalli (FSU) def. #18 Carvalho/Garcia (TTU), 9-8 (9)
2. Zapletal/Alapati (FSU) def. #23 Escobar/Stabile (TTU), 8-6
3. Boutillier/Ayoun (FSU) def. Manzini/David Gonzalez (TTU), 9-7

Singles (order of finish: 2, 6, 1, 3, 4, 5)
1. #15 Raony Carvalho (TTU) def. Mirko Zapletal (FSU), 6-3, 6-4
2. #63 Gonzalo Escobar (TTU) def. Tejesvi Veerepalli (FSU), 6-0, 6-1
3. Remi Boutillier (FSU) def. Rafael Garcia (TTU), 6-2, 7-4 (1)
4. Andre Stabile (TTU) def. David Ayoun (FSU), 6-3, 6-3
5. Vitor Manzini (TTU) def. Siddharth Alapati (FSU), 6-4, 6-4
6. Taylor Leiby (FSU) def. Raphael Pfister (TTU), 6-4, 7-5

Red-hot Tech men to host Fresno State Tuesday

After canceling its two matches over the weekend due to high winds, the No. 13 Texas Tech men’s tennis team resumes action on Tues., March, 30, as it hosts No. 27 Fresno State at 11 a.m. at the McLeod Tennis Center.

Tech (16-1) is on a 14-match winning streak having beaten six-straight ranked teams and 13 ranked teams this season. The Red Raider’s top player, 15th-ranked Raony Carvalho, was named the Big 12 Player of the Week last week after being named the MVP of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic and leading Tech to the tournament title.

Tuesday’s match is the start of four-straight home matches for the Red Raiders. There will be free food and free t-shirts given away at the match.

SMU women grab a couple of weekend road wins

The No. 27 SMU Women’s Tennis team (19-3) traveled to California for weekend matches with Fresno State and Saint Mary’s and picked up two more wins in dominating fashion. The Mustangs took out former Western Athletic Conference foe Fresno State on Saturday, 6-1, and then dismantled Saint Mary’s, 7-0, on Sunday.

“We played well this weekend,” said head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner. “We did what we set out to do, which was come out here and get two wins. This was a long way to travel and we had a short turnaround after the Baylor match got moved, so I was proud of how the girls kept their focus and took care of business.”

SMU took the early lead in both matches by claiming doubles point. Katerina Vankova andEdyta Cieplucha notched their first wins as a duo (2-1) as they collected victories at No. 2, while Pavi Francis and Shahazoda Hatamova improved to 5-1 this spring at No. 3 with their two wins.

In singles play, No. 29 Marta Lesniak (18-2) split her contests at the No. 1 singles line, falling to Renata Kucerkova of Fresno State in a tiebreaker, before cruising past Alex Poorta of Saint Mary’s in straight sets.

No. 97 Aleksandra Malyarchikova picked up two more wins at the No. 2 line to improve her record to 16-2 this spring. The sophomore has a perfect 12-0 record at the second singles spot.

Vankova, a freshman, won her second match at the No. 3 spot against Saint Mary’s and is now 6-2 overall, while fellow newcomer Cieplucha grabbed a pair of victories to move to 14-1 on the season.

Francis picked her 12th and 13th wins against just four losses this spring and her doubles partner Hatamova also grabbed a pair of victories to improve to 15-3 in dual matches.

Senior Sophie Quist saw action against Fresno State and won in straight sets to collect her fifth win overall and her fourth triumph at the No. 6 singles position.

The Mustangs return to action on Friday as they host C-USA rival UTEP and Prairie View A&M at the Turpin Tennis Center. The match with the Miners is slated to begin at Noon CST, while the contest with the Panthers is scheduled for 5 p.m. CST. The team will conclude the weekend by hosting C-USA foe UCF at 10 a.m. CST on Sunday.

No. 27 SMU 6, Fresno State 1
DOUBLES
1. Pola/ Kucerkova (FS) def. Lesniak/ Malyarchikova (SMU) 8-6
2. Vankova/ Cieplucha (SMU) def. McQueen/ Modoc (FS) 8-5
3. Francis/ Hatamova (SMU) def. Gragera-Cano/ Mikhailova (FS) 8-2
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1

SINGLES
1. Renata Kucerkova def. No. 29 Marta Lesniak (SMU) 7-6, 3-6 (10-7)
2. No. 97 Aleksandra Malvarchikova (SMU) def. Laura Pola (FS) 6-1, 6-3
3. Shahazoda Hatamova (SMU) def. Bianca Modoc (FS) 6-0, 6-2
4. Edyta Cieplucha (SMU) def. Melissa McQueen (FS) 6-3, 6-4
5. Pavi Francis (SMU) def. Julia Gragera-Cano (FS) 1-6, 6-2, 7-5
6. Sophie Quist (SMU) def. Anna Mikhailova (FS) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2*, 6, 1, 5

No. 27 SMU 7, Saint Mary’s 0
DOUBLES
1. Lesniak/ Malyarchikova (SMU) def. Chikhikvishvili/Isip (SMC) 8-6
2. Vankova/ Cieplucha (SMU) Poorta/Soper (SMC) 8-6
3. Francis/ Hatamova (SMU) def. Strijbis/Fisher (SMC) 8-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

SINGLES
1. No. 29 Marta Lesniak (SMU) def. Alex Poorta 6-2, 3-0 ret.
2. No. 97 Aleksandra Malvarchikova (SMU) def. Catherine Isip 6-2, 6-1
3. Katerina Vankova (SMU) def. Anna Chikhikvishvili 6-2, 6-1
4. Shahazoda Hatamova (SMU) def. Claire Soper 6-2, 4-6 (11-9)
5. Edyta Cieplucha (SMU) def. Alisa Spitzer 6-2, 4-6 (10-3)
6. Pavi Francis (SMU) def. Molly Aloia 2-6, 6-4 (10-4)
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2*, 5, 6, 4

Baylor men travel to Stanford Tuesday for HP Cup

The eighth-ranked men’s tennis team will meet the 15th-ranked Stanford Cardinal for the eighth time in the last seven years on Tuesday in Stanford, Calif., at 3 p.m. (PT) at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

The match will also mark the fourth edition of the battle for the HP Cup. The contest will be televised in California by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, airing on Sunday, April 4, at 12 p.m. The match will also be replayed on Friday, April16, at 2:30 p.m.

Baylor enters the match riding a two-match win streak after sweeping a doubleheader on Saturday that moved its record to 15-3 in the spring. The Bears are 12-0 at home, 2-1 in true road contests and 1-2 in neutral site contests.

Live results of the match will be available on BaylorBears.com courtesy of GoStanford.com.

HP CUP: The HP Cup is a yearly meeting between the two schools that is sponsored by the Hewlett-Packard Company. The company’s CEO, Mark Hurd, attended Baylor in the 1970’s and played tennis for the university. The company’s main offices are located in Palo Alto, Calif., near Stanford’s campus.

LAST TIME OUT: In its doubleheader sweep on Saturday at the Baylor Tennis Center, Baylor took out Abilene Christian and St. Edward’s by identical 7-0 scores. The two shutout wins were the ninth and 10th of the season for Baylor matching its total from all of last season. In the two contests, Baylor won all six doubles matches and lost only two sets in 12 singles matches.

BAYLOR IN THE GOLDEN STATE: In 24 matches in California during the Matt Knoll era Baylor is 15-9. Earlier this month, Baylor traveled to California and recorded wins over No. 8 UCLA, 4-3, and 24th-ranked Pepperdine, 5-2. The Bears played no matches in the nation’s most populated state in 2009, but Baylor was only 1-3 in 2008 with losses to USC, UCLA and Pepperdine and a win against Stanford. Baylor’s best trip west came in the 2006 campaign when the Bears went 6-2 in matches played in California.

CURRENT TEAM STREAKS AND TRENDS: Overall, the Bears have won 30 of 34 matches dating back to last season. The Bears currently own a two-match win streak, after enjoying streaks of five and eight wins earlier in the year.

DOUBLES POINT STREAKS AND TRENDS: The Bears took all six doubles matches in their doubleheader on Saturday. BU has now won the doubles point 13 times this season and lost it in five matches. However, before the current two-match streak, Baylor had lost three out of the last four doubles points after starting the year 10-2 in that category. Baylor is 13-0 in matches when winning the doubles point and just 2-3 when losing it.

SINGLES STREAKS AND TRENDS: Senior Denes Lukacs has won 32 of his last 36 matches overall, which includes a 13-2 start to this dual match season. Senior Dominik Mueller has won 13 of 16 to start the dual match season. Meanwhile at the No. 2 spot Jordan Rux is 12-2 and Attila Bucko is 11-2 playing mostly at the third spot in the lineup.

BAYLOR IN THE RANKINGS: In the latest rankings release by the ITA on March 23, Baylor as a team remained at No. 8 after knocking off 42nd-ranked TCU and losing to No. 1 Virginia. Individually, the Bears continued to have two singles players ranked as Lukacs and Rux came in at 16th and 28th, respectively. In doubles, the tandem of Rux and Maros Horny are ranked 33rd, while Horny partners with Lukacs to make up the 72nd-ranked team. New ITA rankings for teams, singles and doubles will be released on Tuesday afternoon.

SCOUTING STANFORD: The Cardinal enter Tuesday’s showdown on a four-match win streak that has pused their record to 11-3. In their last match out, Stanford took down No. 32 Arizona, 6-1, on Saturday afternoon in its first Pac-10 match of the season. Coach John Whitlinger has assembled a roster in his sixth season as head coach that features two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. This season, Stanford has claimed wins over No. 10 Kentucky, No. 11 Illinois and No. 28 Michigan. The Cardinal has lost to No. 8 Texas, No. 27 California and No. 5 USC. Stanford is 7-2 at home, 2-0 on the road and 2-1 in neutral site contests.

Players to Watch: Stanford has three players in the March 16th edition of the ITA singles listings. Bradley Klahn leads the way at No. 8, while Alex Clayton is 35th and Ryan Thacher is ranked 65th. Stanford also has the No. 2 doubles team in the country with the tandem of Klahn and Thacher, while Clayton partners with Richard Wire to makeup the 30th-ranked team.”

SERIES RECORD: Baylor has never lost to Stanford, holding a 9-0 record over the Cardinal in a series that dates back to 1999. The Bears and the Cardinal have met at least once for the last eight years. In the three previous meetings of the HP Cup, Baylor edged fourth-ranked Stanford 4-3 last year, recorded a 5-2 victory over No. 40 Stanford in 2008 and earned a 7-0 sweep of the 27th-ranked Cardinal in 2007. The Bears are 4-0 at home, 4-0 in Palo Alto and 1-0 in neutral site contests against Stanford.

LAST TIME AGAINST STANFORD: The 10th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team squeaked out a 4-3, upset of the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal, on March 25, 2010 at the Baylor Tennis Center and kept the HP Cup in Waco for a third straight year. Baylor needed the last match on the court to finish off Stanford, where freshman Maros Horny came from behind to beat Blake Muller in three sets 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-2 to give the Bears the coveted final fourth point.

WINNING AGAINST THE BEST: The Matt Knoll era has seen Baylor play 327 ranked opponents with the Bears going 240-87 in those matches. This year, Baylor is 8-3 against ranked teams. Last season, the Bears were 20-6 against teams in the ITA’s rankings of the top 75 college teams. Baylor’s best year against ranked foes came in 2005 when it went 29-1 against the nation’s elite with the only loss coming to No. 6 UCLA in the NCAA Tournament finals.

OWNING NON-CONFERENCE OPPOSITION: The Knoll era has brought success in non-conference play with Baylor sporting a 245-66 mark in non-league play over the last 13+ years.

LOOKING AHEAD: Tuesday’s match marks the last non-conference contest of the season for Baylor as the Bears start conference play in search of their 10th Big 12 title on April 7 against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas at 6 p.m.

Quotes – Head coach Matt Knoll
On being a part of the HP Cup:
“We are thrilled to be a part of it. Hewlett-Packard is one of the great companies in the world and for us to be associated with them and Stanford, which has the greatest tradition in men’s college tennis, I think is a big deal. We feel honored to be a part of it.”

On what the match means to the program:
“It is going to be on TV again and it’s going to be a really first-class event. We are excited to get out there and hopefully play a really great match. “

On Stanford:
“We know they have a lot of really good players. We played a lot of their guys in the Sherwood Cup in January, so we know how good they are. We are going to have our hands full and I think the guys are going to be super-excited to go out and see how it goes.”

On having never lost to Stanford:
“I think those things that happened in past aren’t really going to have any effect on what happens this year, but they always have a great team. They are very well prepared. They have a great coaching staff and this year is no exception. Their talent is level is very high.“

On the challenge his team faces:
“We know Coach Whitlinger is going to prepare them and they are going to play a great match against us. If we are going to have a chance, we are to have to play well. We all know that and hopefully we can match the challenge.”

On if he will stay with the new doubles pairings he used on Saturday:
“I think this is what we are going to try for the short-term. We felt like things went well. We felt like those pairings gave us some things that will hopefully help us when we play some of these matches down the road. We certainly have a chance to prove it against Stanford. They are great at doubles, so we will get a great chance to see where we stand.”

A&M Women top Tech, 5-2

The Texas A&M women’s tennis team (8-4, 3-0 Big 12) won its fifth consecutive match and remained undefeated in Big 12 Conference play with a 5-2 victory over Texas Tech in windy conditions today at McLeod Tennis Center.

“A win is a win, and a conference win is a conference win,” A&M coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “This match was a little closer than what the 5-2 indicates, so we will take the win, go to 3-0 and move on.

“I won’t say that I’m completely happy with our play today. I just didn’t think we adjusted as well as we needed to. The wind is a tough situation, but we were very hardheaded today and tried to keep hitting certain shots that weren’t right. We’ve got to be smarter in that windy situation.”

A&M won on two of three doubles courts to take a 1-0 lead. Christi Liles and Sheri Olivier cruised to an 8-3 win against Sandra Dynka and Stefanie Peana at the No. 3 line. Stephanie Davidson and Morgan Frank then followed with an 8-4 victory over Caroline Starck and Elizabeth Ullathorne at the No. 2 line to clinch the point for A&M.

Kelsy Garland and Natalie Leitch prevented a sweep by the Aggies. The Tech pair held a 7-5 lead against A&M’s Elzé Potgieter and Nazari Urbina at the No. 1 line, but the A&M duo came back to tie the score at 7-all to force a tiebreaker. A&M held a 6-5 advantage in the tiebreaker, but Tech fought back and won the next three points to win the match.

Potgieter rebounded at the start of singles, quickly giving A&M a 2-0 lead after racing to a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Dynka at the No. 1 line. It marked the 85th win of Potgieter’s career, moving her into a tie for eighth place with former Aggie standout Cindy Churchwell (1988-91) in the A&M career records.

Starck put the Lady Raiders on the scoreboard with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Liles at the No. 5 line before Frank put A&M ahead, 3-1, with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Ullathorne at the No. 3 line. With the win, Frank extended her career-long winning streak to 12 and improves to 12-1 in dual matches this season.

“While Elze did a great job finishing out her singles match, Morgan’s was a little tighter match probably than what it seemed,” Kleinecke said. “But I felt like Morgan did a good job of trying to control play. That is her play. She is waiting for that other person and dictating play with moving the ball around the court, and I thought she did a good job.”

Davidson then clinched the winning point for A&M, defeating Peana, 6-3, 7-5, at the No. 6 line. Davidson trailed the second set, 5-3 before reeling off four consecutive games to close out the match and put A&M up, 4-1.

“Stephanie Davidson did a good job coming back in that second set after being down,” Kleinecke said. “She was down 5-3 and came back and won the set 7-5, so that was big to give us our clinching match.”

Urbina won her 11th consecutive match, but she had to come from behind to keep the streak intact. The freshman was down 4-1 in the first set to Leitch at No. 2 singles but then rallied to win the next 11 games to win the match, 6-4, 6-0, and put the Aggies ahead 5-1.

“Nazari did a great job of coming back after being down 4-1 in the first set, but she should have never been down 4-1,” Kleinecke said. “She needed to take care of that at the beginning.”

Garland tallied Tech’s final point with a three-set victory over Olivier at the No. 4 line. Olivier won the first set, 6-3, but Garland came back to win the second set, 6-1. The two were tied at 6-6 in the final set, and Garland won the tiebreaker, 7-4, to capture the win.

The match marked A&M’s 26th consecutive victory against the Lady Raiders, who fall to 6-9, 1-4 in Big 12 matches.

The Aggies are off the rest of this week and then take a break from Big 12 play to host No. 3 Notre Dame on Monday, April 5. First serve against the Fighting Irish is 6 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

“It will be good to get back home again,” Kleinecke said. “We need a good week of practice to work on some of those things and then get back and give a shot at Notre Dame. They are coming in with a top five ranking in the country, so we have nothing to lose. We need to come out swinging.”

Free live video streaming and scoring of all A&M home tennis matches is available at AggieAthletics.com.

No. 44 Texas A&M 5, No. 67 Texas Tech 2
March 28, 2010
McLeod Tennis Center
Lubbock, Texas
Attendance: n/a
Singles
1. (#63) Elzé Potgieter (TAMU) def. Sandra Dynka (TTU), 6-0, 6-1
2. (#67) Nazari Urbina (TAMU) def. Natalie Leitch (TTU), 6-4, 6-0
3. (#111) Morgan Frank (TAMU) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TTU), 6-3, 6-4
4. Kelsy Garland (TTU) def. Sheri Olivier (TAMU), 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4)
5. Caroline Starck (TTU) def. Christi Liles (TAMU), 6-3, 6-1
6. Stephanie Davidson (TAMU) def. Stefanie Peana (TTU), 6-3, 7-5

Doubles (A&M wins the point)
1. Garland/Leitch (TTU) def. Potgieter/Urbina (TAMU), 8-7 (6)
2. Stephanie Davidson/Frank (TAMU) def. Starck/Ullathorne (TTU), 8-4
3. Liles/Olivier (TAMU) def. Dynka/Peana (TTU), 8-3

Order of finish
Doubles: 3, 2, 1
Singles: 1, 5, 3, 6*, 2, 4
*Clinched match

Team records
Texas A&M: 8-4, 3-0 Big 12
Texas Tech: 6-9, 1-4 Big 12

Aggie men shutout Oklahoma State

Junior Alexey Grigorov (Moscow, Russia) led the 17th-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team to its sixth-straight victory with a 7-0 shutout of No. 44 Oklahoma State in Big 12 Conference action held Sunday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

The Aggies (13-4, 2-0) are off to a 2-0 Big 12 start in addition to the second-longest win streak in the Steve Denton Era behind last year’s seven-match winning stretch where A&M also swept the Oklahoma schools and knocked off eventual national champion USC and then seventh-ranked Illinois. The win marked the third-straight in the all-time series with the Cowboys (6-8, 0-2) and the first shutout in 26 all-time meetings between the two schools since 1980.

For the sixth consecutive match, the Aggies controlled things early by winning the doubles point behind the ninth-ranked tandem of junior All-American Austin Krajicek (Brandon, Fla.) and junior Jeff Dadamo (Tampa, Fla.) who topped No. 12-ranked Oleksandr Nedovyesov and Aleksey Bessonov of OSU, 8-2, at the No. 1 line. Senior co-captain Marcus Lunt (San Antonio, Texas) and sophomore Alexis Klegou (Dunkerque, France) followed suit with an 8-6 victory over Maximilian Kuhn and Ilija Martinoski at No. 3.

“I think the (windy) conditions were such that it was ugly tennis today,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “Our guys were able to compete, play well, and win some tough matches. I was proud of their effort. The doubles was really important. Today, we were down 5-1 at No. 3 doubles and found a way to come back to win it. I’m really proud of the way our guys continue to battle, compete and stay in there – to find a way to claw their way back into a match. After we won the doubles point, it gave us some momentum.”

Three of the six singles matches went into three sets extending match play for four and a half hours on the court. A&M went up 2-0 after freshman Alberto Bautista (McAllen, Texas) claimed a straight-set victory over Eric West, 6-3, 6-2, at the No. 5 line. Bautista has now won six of his last seven matches of the season for a 12-3 dual mark.

Jeff Dadamo, ranked No. 30 nationally in the Campbell/ITA Rankings, won his third-straight with a 6-2, 6-3 decision over No. 75-ranked Anton Bobytskyi, while Grigorov clinched the match for the Aggies winning his second second-set tiebreaker on serve in three days, 6-2, 7-6 (5), at the No. 4 line. Grigorov is currently on a team-best six-match winning streak at 11-4 on the season.

“Today was a really important match,” Grigorov said. “It’s good to go 2-0 in Big 12 Conference play. The last time we played Oklahoma State (on Jan. 31) the score was 4-1. It wasn’t that easy, so today, we came prepared. Only a few of the matches were tight today. They were ready for us, played aggressive, but we took the win.”

With the match already decided, No. 21-ranked Austin Krajicek rallied back from a 6-2 first-set deficit to two-time Big 12 Player of the Year and No. 19-ranked Oleksandr Nedovyesov with a service break at four-all and winning the second-set tiebreaker, 7-6 (5). Krajicek went on to claim his second career victory over Nedovyesov, formerly the No. 1 player in the country, winning 10-8 in the third-set super tiebreaker.

Alexis Klegou and sophomore John Lewis (Birmingham, Ala.), a transfer from Alabama, completed the sweep of the Cowboys winning their third-set tiebreakers at the No. 3 and No. 6 lines respectively. Klegou won his fifth-straight match of the season over Aleksey Bessonov, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (5), while Lewis picked up his third dual match win of his A&M career versus Maximilian Kuhn, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

“Thanks to Alberto (Bautista) and Jeff (Dadamo) for handling their guys today as well as (Alexey) Grigorov to finish up by winning the second-set tiebreaker,” Denton said. “If you look at our results, we won all of the tiebreakers today, which is a good sign that we are able to play solid tennis, when the match is on the line.”

The Aggies continue their eight-match homestand with a midweek non-conference doubleheader scheduled against UT Arlington and No. 42 Rice on Wednesday, March 31 at noon (CT) and 6 p.m. (CT) respectively at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

(17) TEXAS A&M 7, (44) OKLAHOMA STATE 0
March 28, 2010
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
at College Station, Texas
Attendance: 306
SINGLES
No. 1 – (21) Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) def. (19) Oleksandr Nedovyesov (OSU), 2-6, 7-6 (5), 1-0 (8).
No. 2 – (30) Jeff Dadamo (Texas A&M) def. (75) Anton Bobytskyi (OSU), 6-2, 6-3.
No. 3 – Alexis Klegou (Texas A&M) def. Aleksey Bessonov (OSU), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (5).
No. 4 – Alexey Griorov (Texas A&M) def. Ilija Martinoski (OSU), 6-2, 7-6 (5).
No. 5 – Alberto Bautista (Texas A&M) def. Eric West (OSU), 6-3, 6-2.
No. 6 – John Lewis (Texas A&M) def. Maximilian Kuhn (OSU), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

DOUBLES
No. 1 – (9) Krajicek-Dadamo (Texas A&M) def. (12) Nedovyesov-Bessonov (OSU), 8-2.
No. 2 – West-Bobytskyi (OSU) def. Grigorov-Bautista (Texas A&M), 9-7.
No. 3 – Klegou-Marcus Lunt (Texas A&M) def. Kuhn-Martinoski (OSU), 8-6.

ORDER OF FINISH
Singles: 5, 2, 4*, 1, 3, 6
Doubles: 1, 3, 2