Baylor Men’s Tennis Readies For Big 12 Opening Weekend

Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 23:19:23-04

The third-ranked Baylor men's tennis team begins Big 12 Conference play with a pair of home matches this weekend. The Bears will face No. 16 Oklahoma Friday at 6 p.m., followed by a Sunday match against No. 8 Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Center.

Baylor (19-3) is currently on a six-match winning streak, after earning a 4-2 victory at Tulsa Saturday. The Bears are currently undefeated at home this season with an 8-0 record.

Baylor starts its quest for a fourth conference regular season title in the last five years. In 20, seasons of Big 12 action, BU is 109-23 with 13 titles, including 12 in the last 15 years. Baylor is 15-5 all-time in Big 12 openers.

BU is led by Juan Benitez, ranked No. 10 in singles, while senior Max Tchoutakian is No. 41, Johannes Schretter is No. 74, and Jimmy Bendeck is No. 120. In doubles play, Will Little and Benitez are the country's 29th-best doubles team. Tchoutakian and Schretter are the No. 74 ranked pairing.

Oklahoma (12-8, 0-2 in Big 12 play) has suffered four-consecutive defeats. Last weekend, the Sooners opened Big 12 play and fell to Texas and TCU at home. After dropping the last five matches, the Bears trail the all-time series 25-20 against OU.

Spencer Papa leads the Sooners with a No. 20 ITA singles ranking, followed by No. 52 Alex Ghilea and No. 82 Florin Bragusi. In doubles, Papa and Andrew Harris pair to be the 36th-best duo in the country. Bragusi and Ghilea are the No. 61 ranked pairing, and Papa and Bragusi are listed at No. 71 in doubles.

Oklahoma State (18-4, 1-1) will play at No. 42 Texas Tech Friday, before journeying to Waco. Baylor leads the all-time series against OSU, 26-9. The Bears have won 13 of the last 14 matchups against the Cowboys. Most recently, Oklahoma State knocked off No. 6 Texas 4-2 on Sunday. The Cowboys lost their Big 12 opener on Friday at home against TCU.

In singles, Julian Cash leads OSU with a No. 27 singles ranking, followed by No. 80 Arjun Kadhe and No. 84 Lucas Gerch. OSU has the fifth-best doubles tandem in Kadhe and Cash, followed by No. 45 Gerch and Kadhe, and additionally No. 75 Gerch and Jurence Mendoza.

Following the weekend of matches, Baylor will travel to Austin on Wednesday, April 12, to take on No. 6 Texas for a 6 p.m. showdown.