STANFORD, Calif. – Baylor’s produced a dramatic 4-3 win against UCLA in the third round on Thursday night and advanced to the tournament quarterfinals.
Kike Grangeiro overcame a 4-2 third set deficit and two match points against Holden Seguso to take the deciding match 10-8 and put the Bears into the quarterfinals for the ninth consecutive season and 10th time overall.
It marked the eighth consecutive 4-3 match between the Bears and the Bruins, including a 4-3 UCLA win in Waco earlier this season. Baylor improved to 22-4 while 11th-ranked UCLA ends its season at 18-7.
The Bears took the doubles point from the Bruins with it coming down to the last match. On court three, UCLA’s tandem of Daniel Kosakowski and Seguso rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win seven consecutive games and claim a win against Julian Bley and Grangeiro. Baylor’s 52nd-ranked Sergio Ramirez and Jordan Rux would counter with an 8-5 win on court two versus No. 57 Warren Hardie and Amit Inbar. When court two finished, Baylor’s John Peers and Roberto Maytin, ranked No. 5, led the 32nd-ranked UCLA duo of Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget , 7-6. However, Brigham held serve to even the match at 7-7. Maytin would hold his serve then the Baylor pair broke Puget’s serve to claim the 9-7 victory and clinch the doubles point.
Rux earned his ninth win in a row with a 7-6 (5), 6-1 triumph versus Clay Thompson to put Baylor up 2-0. UCLA then posted wins on court two and four when Inbar downed Ramirez, 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-2, and Puget defeated Maytin, 7-6 (3), 6-2. Bley, playing at No. 6, gave Baylor a 3-2 lead when he downed Maxime Tabatruong in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
At that point, courts one and five were each in the third set. At No. 1, Peers lost the first set 4-6 but rallied to win the second 7-5. After Peers took a 3-1 lead, the match eventually was tied at 4-4 before Kosakowski broke Peers’ serve and then held his own serve to win the third set 6-4.
Grangeiro dropped the first set to Seguso 3-6 then countered with a 6-2 second-set victory. When the match at No. 1 ended, Grangeiro was trailing 4-2 in the third-set tiebreaker. But Grangeiro fought off two match points by Seguso and eventually pulled out a 10-8 tiebreak win to clinch his second match in a row for the Bears.
“The thing that stands out is that we had the exact same match with them in February in Waco. That one they won 11-9 in third set tiebreaker. The two teams just couldn’t be any closer. I thought we fought incredibly hard and honestly was really proud of both teams. It was just kind of a coin flip today and we were lucky to get the win,” Baylor head coach Matt Knoll said.
“I thought it was a great effort from all of our guys. I knew I needed to give it everything that I have, I wasn’t feeling my best at the end of the match but we are all warriors, we can’t get tired before the others. It feels really great, I’m proud of all the guys,” Grangeiro said.