WACO, Texas – The 15th-ranked Baylor men's tennis clinched the Big 12 regular season title outright with a 5-2 victory over No. 37 TCU Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center. The win gives Baylor its 11th regular season title.
"It is hard to win a conference championship," head coach Matt Knoll said. "We certainly don't take them for granted. There are so many great teams in this league and to have to travel around and stick together and find a way to win one is awesome. TCU is a good team and it was a tough night for us. We had already won a share of the title and I think it is hard to feel some sense of accomplishment. We really challenged ourselves to come out and play a great match and they came out and pushed us in every spot."
Baylor (18-4, 5-0) has now won 12 straight against TCU (16-8, 2-3) and also extended its current win streak to nine.
The win gives Baylor sole possession of the conference title and earns the team the overall No. 1 seed heading into the Big 12 Championship. The Bears won their ninth outright regular-season title, and went undefeated in conference play for the ninth time in school history.
Doubles pairing Patrick Pradella and Roberto Maytin were first to finish with an 8-2 dismantling of JT Sundling and Max Stevens on court two to get things started for the Bears.
Julian Lenz and Marko Krickovic fought back from a 3-0 deficit to clinch the doubles point victory on court three, 8-4. TCU wrapped up doubles action on court one with a 8-7(2) win over 61st- ranked Mate Zsiga and Diego Galeano.
Baylor secured a perfect 5-0 record in doubles competition through the conference season and only lost three doubles matches against conference opponents.
During the break between doubles and singles competition, Baylor's one senior Roberto Maytin was honored. Baylor President Ken Starr and Athletic Director Ian McCaw presented Maytin a team photo while the rest of the team gathered around on court one.
Baylor got off to a great start in singles competition with a 6-3, 6-1 Maytin victory over Rodolfo Bustamante at the No. 6 spot to give the Bears a 2-0 advantage in the match.
No. 35 Patrick Pradella was the next player to finish as he claimed a 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 94 Nick Chappell at the top of the lineup.
TCU struck back with a win on court three as Orlando Superlano upset No. 66 Mate Zsiga to bring the score to 3-1 with three matches still on court.
The 43-ranked Lenz clinched the match wining point on court two with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Arnau Dachs, before Krickovic got past JT Sudling on court five 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (4).
TCU ended the match with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 Facundo Lugones win on court four over Diego Galeano to bring the final score to 5-2.
Baylor trails the overall series vs. TCU 31-18, but owns a 15-5 mark in the Matt Knoll era.
Baylor will be back in action when they head to Norman, Okla. to compete in the Big 12 Championship. As the No. 1 seed, the Bears receive a first round bye and will play the winner of Texas Tech and TCU on Saturday at noon.
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