May 22, 2010
NORCROSS, Ga. – After dropping a tightly contested doubles point, the seventh-seeded Baylor men’s tennis team dominated Texas A&M on the singles courts with four straight-set wins to reach the program’s eighth consecutive NCAA Quarterfinal in Norcross, Ga. The match, originally scheduled for the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., was moved to the Racquet Club of the South in Norcross due to rain.
“I thought the guys showed a lot of heart to battle back from a tough doubles match,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “In the locker room, we talked about coming out and not being satisified with any consolation prize. We wanted to come out here and win something, and the guys really bought into that.”
On the doubles courts, the matches set the tone for the day between the two Big 12 rivals. A&M took control early on Court 3, with an 8-3 win by Colin Hoover and Alberto Bautista over BU’s Dominik Mueller and Maros Horny, but battles were brewing on the other two courts.
On Court 1, the 28th-ranked duo of Denes Lukacs and Roberto Maytin took a 7-5 lead, but the fifth-ranked combo of Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek took the next two points before the teams traded break-points to force a tiebreak at 8-8. The Bears jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the seven-point tiebreak and held on to win 7-4.
The doubles point also came down to a tiebreak on Court 2 with Baylor’s Attilo Bucko and Jordan Rux battling out of a 4-2 hole and tying the score at 5-5. The teams held serve to 8-8, then A&M’s Alexey Grigorov and Marcus Lunt seized control on their way to a 7-1 tiebreak win.
Down 1-0, the Bears seized the momentum on the first two courts, where Denes Lukacs and Jordan Rux were playing opponents each had lost to twice this season in Austin Krajicek and Jeff Dadamo. Lukacs, ranked 15th, came out firing and rolled to a 6-1, 6-2 win over sixth-ranked Krajicek. On Court 2, it was nearly the same story as Rux took down 39th-ranked Dadamo 6-3, 6-3.
Then on Courts 5 and 6, Maytin and Julian Bley each only lost three games in their way to wins. Maytin was the first Baylor player off the court with a 6-1, 6-2 win, while Bley was the match-clincher on No. 6 with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Lunt.
The Bears will take on second-seeded Tennessee in the NCAA Quarterfinals at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 23 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. The Vols enter with a record of 28-1 after defeating Louisville 4-0 in the Round of 16. At the helm of the Tennessee men’s program is former Baylor assistant coach Sam Winterbotham