The second-seeded Tennessee Volunteers grinded out the doubles point, then took over on the singles courts as they defeated Baylor’s seventh-seeded men’s tennis team 4-0 in the NCAA Quarterfinals at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., on Sunday.
“I thought Tennessee played a great match, they were well-prepared,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “It was tough for us out there. Our guys fought hard the whole time. We had some guys give us an opportunity out there, we just didn’t have enough oars in the water to get to four.”
Baylor nearly pulled off the upset in the doubles action against Tennessee, who features two of the top 15 doubles pairs in the nation. On Court 1, BU’s 28th-ranked duo of Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin continued their stellar play, upsetting the third-ranked pair of John-Patrick Smith and Davey Sandgren 8-6.
The Vols 12th-ranked duo of Rhyne Williams and Boris Conkic had little resistance from Jordan Rux and Attila Bucko on Court 2 on their way to an 8-1 win, leaving the doubles point up to Court 3.
On the final court, Baylor’s Sergio Ramirez and Maros Horny fought back to tie the match at 5-5, but the Vols’ combo of Edward Jones and Matteo Fago got a break-point then held serve to take a 7-5 lead. Horny held serve for the Bears, but Tennessee didn’t let up to clinch the point with an 8-6 win.
With the doubles point in hand, the Vols put the pressure on Baylor on the singles courts, featuring ranked players at five positions. On Court 5, No. 116 Matt Brewer was the first to finish with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Maytin for a 2-0.
The next two points came shortly after with No. 36 Conkic fending off No. 35 Rux in the first set with a 6-4 win, then breaking serve twice to take a 6-2 second set. UT’s 45th-ranked Williams then defeated BU’s Bucko 6-3, 6-2 on Court 3.
The Bears had mounted a challenge on the remaining three courts, the most impressive of which came on Court 1 from its senior Lukacs. Ranked 28th, Lukacs was in a heavyweight bout with the No. 1-ranked Smith. In the first set, Lukacs and Smith traded breaks early then held serve to force a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Lukacs jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but Smith scored four in a row to take a 6-5 lead. Lukacs then earned the final three points with great baseline play to win the tiebreak 9-7. The two were tied 1-1 in the second set when Tennessee clinched the team win.
Baylor’s other senior, Dominik Mueller, put together an impressive first set with a 6-4 win, and was down 3-2 in the second set. On Court 6, Julian Bley was battling out of a 6-4 first set loss to lead the second set 3-1 at the conclusion of the match.
The loss ends Baylor’s season in the NCAA Quarterfinals with a record of 24-7. Individually, the Bears will be represented by two singles players and one doubles tandem in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships on May 26-31 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Lukacs and Rux will each play in the singles tournament, while Lukacs will team with Maytin for the doubles.
Baylor vs Tennessee
May 23, 2010 at Athens, Ga.
(Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
#8 Tennessee 4, #2 Baylor 0
1. #1 John-Patrick Smith (TENN) vs. #15 Denes Lukacs (BU) 6-7 (7-9), 1-1, unfinished
2. #36 Boris Conkic (TENN) def. #35 Jordan Rux (BU) 6-4, 6-2
3. #45 Ryhne Williams (TENN) def. Attila Bucko (BU) 6-3, 6-2
4. #111 Tennys Sandgren (TENN) vs. Dominik Mueller (BU) 4-6, 3-2, unfinished
5. #116 Matt Brewer (TENN) def. Roberto Maytin (BU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Matteo Fago (TENN) vs. Julian Bley (BU) 6-4, 1-3, unfinished
1. #28 Denes Lukacs/Roberto Maytin (BU) def. #3 John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (TENN) 8-6
2. #12 Ryhne Williams/Boris Conkic (TENN) def. Jordan Rux/Attila Bucko (BU) 8-1
3. Matteo Fago/Edward Jones (TENN) def. Maros Horny/Sergio Ramirez (BU) 8-6
Baylor 24-7; National ranking #2
Tennessee 29-1; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,2,3)