Baylor Tennis Sweeps Big 12 Player of the Week Honors

Posted at 4:01 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 17:01:46-04

IRVING, Texas - The Baylor men's and women's tennis duo of Julian Lenz and Rhiann Newborn swept the Big 12 Player of the Week honors for their performances over the past week, league officials announced Wednesday.

It is the first time a Baylor men's and women's tennis player have won the award in the same week since Michel Dornbusch and Jordaan Sanford accomplished the feat on April 8, 2014.

Lenz, ranked No. 17, helped the Bears to a perfect 3-0 week as he went 3-0 in singles action and 2-0 in doubles play. The senior from Giessen, Germany, was instrumental in BU upsetting No. 17 Texas April 4 in Waco on his Senior Day. He partnered with Tyler Stayer at the No. 3 doubles position for a 6-4 victory that clinched the opening point for Baylor. In singles against the Longhorns, Lenz won a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 battle against No. 87 George Goldhoff at the top of the lineup to break a 2-2 tie in the match to swing the momentum in BU’s favor. In a doubleheader with Arkansas Pine Bluff Saturday, Lenz won two singles matches and one doubles match to finish the week a combined 5-0 in singles and doubles.

On the year, Lenz is 21-5 and 16-3 in dual-match singles action. He has won five-straight decisions and is 2-0 in Big 12 action. Lenz has the sixth-most singles wins in program history at 109.

This is the third time that Lenz has won the honor this season and the fourth time in his career.

Lenz last won the honor Feb. 10 and had previously been recognized earlier in the year on Jan. 21, after also being named player of the week on April 21, 2015.

It is Baylor's 40th Big 12 weekly honor since 2000. Lenz is one of 16 different Bears to be recognized in that stretch.

The senior is one of only five players that has been honored four or more times in their career. He joins Benjamin Becker (5), Benedikt Dorsch (5), Zoltan Papp (5) and Lars Poerschke (4) in that category. He is one of only two Bears to be honored three times in one season, joining Dorsch, who accomplished the feat in 2004.

Newborn provided the clinching point in singles and doubles as Baylor upset No. 28 TCU Friday in Fort Worth. The Syracuse transfer teamed with Karina Trazler at the No. 2 spot in doubles to slip past Marie Norris and Alexis Pereria, 7-6(4), to give BU the opening point. In singles, Newborn come back from a set down to beat Caroline Wegner, 4-6,6-2, 6-3 at the No. 2 position to hand BU the clinching fourth point.

Despite a team loss to No. 12 Texas Tech, Newborn won both her singles and doubles matches against the Red Raiders. Teaming with Traxler again, Newborn clinched the doubles point for the Bears with a 6-4 victory over Sarah Dvorak and Sabrina Federici on court two. In singles, Newborn was the only Bear to win with a 7-5, 6-1 upset of No. 107 Gabriela Talaba at the No. 2 spot.

Newborn did not play in the two matches against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Newborn is 8-13 on the year and 7-11 in dual-match play. She has won two-straight singles matches.

This marks the first that Newborn has been recognized by the league office. It is Baylor's 36th Big 12 honor in the 20-year history of the Big 12 Conference. Newborn gives Baylor back-to-back winners of the award, after Blair Shankle was recognized last week, for the first time since Lenka Broosova and Csilla Borsanyi accomplished the feat on April 6 and 13, 2009.

Baylor’s men will continue Big 12 action Friday at No. 8 Oklahoma, while the women host their final non-conference match of the season Wednesday at 5 p.m. against No. 41 Rice.