Baylor Men's Tennis Starts Big 12 Championship Against No. 15 Ok - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Baylor Men's Tennis Starts Big 12 Championship Against No. 15 Oklahoma State

WACO, Texas – The 43rd-ranked and No. 5 seed Baylor men's tennis team will open its 2016 Big 12 Championship run against No. 15 and fourth-seeded Oklahoma State Friday at the Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Okla.

BU (14-12, 1-4 Big 12) will play its quarterfinal matchup against the tournament host Cowboys at noon CT. Baylor dropped a 4-2 decision to OSU (18-6, 2-3) on April 17 in Stillwater after picking up wins at the top two singles spots.

The Bears look to keep its perfect record against OSU at the Big 12 Championship, coming into the match with a 7-0 record. In 2014, Baylor last took a 4-2 decision over OSU in the semifinals on the way to winning the program’s eighth tournament crown.

BU is 18-1 in quarterfinal matches, last falling in the first year of the tournament (1997).

Live scoring, streaming and live blog will be available for all matches via links on BaylorBears.com.

BAYLOR IN BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY:
The Bears have produced a 35-11 record overall in Big 12 Championship play. Baylor has been at the top of the championship podium eight times. BU?has won the event four out of the last nine years and earned four straight titles from 2002-05. The Bears have made the finals 14 times, including each of the last four seasons. They are 8-6 in title matches.

LAST YEAR AT BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP:
The Bears entered the 2015 Big 12 Championships in Waco, Texas, as the No. 2 seed and topped third-seeded TCU, 4-3, to advance to the finals where the Bears dropped a tight 4-3 decision to top-seeded and No. 1 Oklahoma.

WHEN BEING THE NO. 5 SEED:
This is the first time in program history that the Bears are the No. 5 seed.

SINGLES STREAKS & TRENDS:
Senior Julian Lenz currently leads the team with an six-match win streak, and he has not lost since March 20. Lenz has played predominantly in the one spot this season and has recorded a 17-3 record in dual-match play. Senior Felipe Rios has also been a strong force for the Bears at the No. 3 spot, winning three-straight matches to boast a 12-7 dual-match mark, including four wins over ranked opponents.

TEAM STREAKS & TRENDS:
Baylor enters the conference championships looking to halt a three-match losing streak that ended the regular season. Baylor is 15-10 in doubles points this season and then 11-4 in matches when winning the doubles point and 2-8 when dropping the opening point. 

LOOKING AHEAD:
A Baylor victory in the quarterfinal round of the conference championships will advance the Bears to the semifinals for the 19th time in the event's 20th year. BU would then face No. 1 seeded Texas Tech at noon Saturday

RANKED BEARS:
Baylor currently has two singles competitors ranked in the latest ITA?rankings including No. 16 Julian Lenz and No. 99 Max Tchoutakian. BU?has two ranked doubles tandems with Lenz and redshirt freshman Will Little at No. 26, followed by Tchoutakian and freshman Tommy Podvinski at No. 80.

LAST?MATCH?OUT:
Baylor ended its regular season with a 4-0 loss to No. 2 and co-Big 12 champion TCU last Wednesday in Fort Worth. BU?dropped the doubles point and lost singles matches at the No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 spots.

SCOUTING?OSU:
The Cowboys come into the match with an 18-6 season record and a 2-3 mark in conference play. OSU?has one ranked singles player in No. 52 Julian Cash. In doubles, Cash and Arjun Kadhe partner together to be No. 8, while?Lucas Gerch and Temur Ismailov are No. 87.

Baylor is 7-0 against OSU at the Big 12 Championship.
• Baylor leads the all-time series against Oklahoma State, 25-9. 
• The Bears have won 12 of the last 13 matchups against the Cowboys.

TOP QUOTES:

“We’ve just got to get back to the basics, and that’s a simple thing. It’s funny – just getting the ball in one more time than your opponent wins a lot of tennis matches. That’s really one of the things that we’re focusing on. We’re focusing more on our serves a little bit. We want to improve our serves down the stretch. That’s something you can make better in a short amount of time. We’re going to build on the things that we’ve been doing, compete hard and give ourselves a chance.” –head coach Matt Knoll on preparing for the weekend

“Julian [Lenz] is going to keep doing what he’s been doing. He’s one of the best players in the country, and I think he’s going to continue to do that for us. He’s going to provide a lot of leadership in doubles. He’s been super with Tyler [Stayer on court three], and I think they’re going to do well, and he’s going to be great for us at the top. It’s an opportunity again for all of us to finish with a bang in our Big 12 season, and I know he’s excited about that.” –Knoll on senior Julian Lenz

For the latest news on the Baylor men's tennis team follow its official Twitter account: @BaylorMTennis. 

2016 BIG 12 MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Friday, April 29

9 a.m.           No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Texas

Noon            No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 5 Baylor

Saturday, April 30

Noon            No. 1 Texas Tech vs. 4/5 Winner

Noon            No. 2 TCU vs. 3/6 Winner

Sunday, May 1

1 p.m.     Championship Match

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