WACO, Texas – For the first time in program history, a Baylor men's tennis doubles pairing has made the NCAA Doubles Championship semifinals as Diego Galeano and Julian Lenz picked up their third-straight three-set victory Saturday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.
The BU duo, which is ranked No. 8 in the country, rallied to beat Tennessee's fourth-ranked pairing of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.
In the first set, each team held serve for six games to force the action into a tiebreaker, which the Vols claimed 7-5. BU finally got a break with a 4-3 lead in the second set to allow Galeano to serve for the set. The BU senior went on to hold for a 6-3 victory in the second set to send the match to a decisive third set.
The Bears wasted no time getting an advantage in the third set as they broke to open it. Each team held over the next six games, before Lenz was broken to tie things up at 4-4.
BU didn't let momentum slip away as they broke back with a backhand winner from Lenz down the line to take a 5-4 lead. The junior Bear then served for the match and held to push the Bears into the semifinals.
Reese and Libietis won the 2014 NCAA Doubles Championship. Galeano and Lenz have now beaten the No. 2, 3 and 4 ranked teams in the country in the past seven days and improved to 14-1 against ranked opponents with the win.
The Baylor pairing has now won 23 of their last 24 matches to up its record to 26-2. The 26 wins are tied for second-most in program history for a single season with Benedikt Dorsch and Reiner Neurehr's tally from 2002-03.
- Baylor is the lone remaining seeded team in the doubles bracket.
- Galeano and Lenz are the first BU duo to make the doubles semifinals.
- Baylor had pairings reach the quarterfinals in 2003 and 2011.
- The Big 12 has three of four tandems remaining in the men's draw.
TOP QUOTE #1
“Well it's just tough. In men's doubles, guys are serving huge and it's all about execution, if you can execute then you have a chance and the guys did a good job of that. I think what happened was that as the match went on and we saw their serves more and more, we got more comfortable with what was going on. Those guys are defending champs and they are a heck of a team. Anybody who was here knows that is good tennis and you will see good tennis on all courts at this stage in the tournament.” – head coach Matt Knoll on the day
TOP QUOTE #2
“These matches are longer than we are used to playing the entire season, so we just need to keep playing every set like the last one. It's my last match at Baylor if we lose, so we are just trying to play every point, every game.” - Diego Galeano on the match
TOP QUOTE #3
“I thought we did pretty well, played well. We had a bunch of opportunities towards the end of the first set. We couldn't really execute there because they always played well when they were facing the wall with their back.” – Julian Lenz on the match
Diego Galeano and Julian Lenz will now face Texas' Soren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool. That duo is ranked No. 19 in the country. The match is slated to start following the singles semifinals, but not before 2 p.m. Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center. In Baylor's regular season match against Texas, the BU duo's match went unfinished against Hess-Olesen and Glasspool.