Bears capture fourth-straight win in season’s first conference match.
LUBBOCK – After racing out to a 3-0 lead, the 16th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team held on for a 4-3 win against No. 17 Texas Tech on Sunday at the McLeod Tennis Center to open Big 12 Conference play with a victory.
“We are just happy to win,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “It is tough to beat these good teams. We knew it was going to be a battle and it sure was, but we are happy to have the win.”
In the match, Baylor (12-3, 1-0) got its 10th win in its last 11 contests, while improving to 17-0 against Texas Tech (13-6, 0-1) in the Knoll era. In Big 12 regular season play, the Bears own a 15-0 mark against the Red Raiders overall and a 6-0 record in Lubbock.
For the fourth time this season, Baylor had a match decided by a single point and in such matches the Bears are now 3-1. However, Sunday’s match was the first one of the four not to come down to the last match on the court. The Bears built the 3-0 lead, but then Texas Tech got a point, before BU claimed the necessary fourth point to clinch the match. The Red Raiders won the final two matches on court.
For the 13th straight contest Baylor won the doubles point as Julian Bley and Kike Grangeiro raced past David Gonzalez and Raphael Pfister, 8-3, at No. 3 doubles. It was the fourth straight win for the BU duo to improve the tandem’s record to 13-1 in dual-match play.
The clinching win in doubles came from the seventh-ranked pair of Roberto Maytin and John Peers, who downed No. 26 Raony Carvalho and Rafael Garcia at the No. 1 position, 8-3. Maytin and Peers are now 11-2 on the season and hold a 9-4 record against nationally ranked opponents.
“The matches at No. 1 and 3 started off very competitive,” Knoll said. “I think it was two all on both courts, but we started making a few more returns and once we started doing that we got the break and that kind of turned it around for us.”
When the point was decided, the match at No. 2 doubles was tied at four games each, but the Tech duo of Gonzalo Escobar and Vitor Manzini retired shortly thereafter to give Sergio Ramirez and Jordan Rux the win. The duo is now 9-3 in dual-match play and its win gave BU a clean sweep of all the doubles matches for the eighth time this season.
The Bears carried their quick start in doubles into singles action as they won four of six first sets to grab the momentum.
Grangeiro was the first Bear to turn the opening set win into a match victory as he got past Gabriel Wanderley at the No. 5 spot, 6-3, 6-3. The 99th-ranked Grangeiro has now won nine of his last 10 starts and is 12-2 in dual-match play.
“Kike was really solid throughout in a really competitive match,” Knoll said. “He just stayed focused and got through that match very well.”
Next, the 27th-ranked Peers got Baylor within one point of the win as he beat his second straight top-20 player in 18th-ranked Escobar, 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 1 position. Escobar had gotten the better of Peers in fall tournament play on Oct. 25, but in Sunday’s match the BU senior got revenge to run his record to 12-3.
On the brink of defeat, the Red Raiders would finally get on the board as the 21st-ranked Carvalho got the better of Ramirez at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-4.
However, after that loss Maytin would clinch the match for Baylor with a 7-6(2), 6-3 victory against Manzini at the No. 3 spot. The 96th-ranked Maytin has won 10 of his last 11 starts and is 11-2 in dual-match play.
Baylor would lose the final two matches of the day as Garcia got past Rux at the No. 3 spot, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, and Pfister downed Bley 7-6(3), 0-6, 10-6 at the No. 6 position.
The Bears will continue their three-match road trip with their second conference match at No. 41 Nebraska on Sat., April 2 at 3 p.m. BU is 21-0 in the Big 12 era against the Cornhuskers.
Match Notes: Baylor improves to 87-15 in Big 12 regular season play all-time and 12-3 in league play openers. In the10 seasons that BU has opened Big 12 play on the road the Bears are now 8-2. Baylor is now 91-34 on the road and 254-84 against ranked foes under Matt Knoll. This season the Bears are 7-3 against ranked opponents and 3-3 versus teams in the top-25.
#16 Baylor 4, #17 Texas Tech 3
Mar 27, 2011 at Lubbock, Texas
(McLeod Tennis Center)
1. #27 John Peers (BU) def. #18 Gonzalo Escobar (TT) 6-1, 6-4
2. #21 Raony Carvalho (TT) def. Sergio Ramirez (BU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Rafael Garcia (TT) def. Jordan Rux (BU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. #96 Roberto Maytin (BU) def. Vitor Manzini (TT) 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
5. #99 Kike Grangeiro (BU) def. Gabriel Wanderley (TT) 6-3, 6-3
6. Raphael Pfister (TT) def. Julian Bley (BU) 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 10-6
1. #7 John Peers/Roberto Maytin (BU) def. #26 Raony Carvalho/Rafael Garcia (TT) 8-3
2. Sergio Ramirez/Jordan Rux (BU) def. Gonzalo Escobar/Vitor Manzini (TT) 4-4, retired
3. Kike Grangeiro/Julian Bley (BU) def. David Gonzalez/Raphael Pfister (TT) 8-3
Baylor 12-3 (1-0); National ranking #16
Texas Tech 13-6 (0-1); National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,1,2,4,3,6)