ATHENS, Ga. – A familiar rival dispatched the Baylor men’s tennis team from the NCAA tournament.
No. 10 Texas swept the singles points in taking a 4-1 win over No. 7 Baylor in the NCAA’s Sweet 16 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Baylor (23-8) was making its 15th Sweet 16 trip in the past 16 years, but will fall short of reaching the Elite Eight.
“The guys just didn’t settle in early, but some of them got back in there and had some chances, but again (the Longhorns) were just too good,” Baylor head coach Matt Knoll said. “In a lot of areas we weren’t very poised. That is part of going through the process of becoming a championship team.”
Texas (22-8) had dropped seven straight matches to Baylor coming into Thursday’s meeting, including a 4-1 BU triumph on April 12 in Austin. And the Bears looked to jump-start another win in the series when they rallied for the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead.
The Bears dug an early hole in doubles as the 84th-ranked duo of Johannes Schretter and Jimmy Bendeck dropped a 6-1 decision to Christian Sigsgaard and Colin Markes. But Baylor stormed back to win the next two doubles matches – from the teams of Bjoern Petersen and Max Tchoutakian, who won 6-3, and the 22nd-ranked duo of Juan Benitez and Will Little, who claimed a 6-4 win.
“I am proud of our doubles,” Knoll said. “We might have been a little bit over-juiced after the doubles. You know it’s one point and I feel like we put a lot into it and did well, but then didn’t really get off to a good start in singles.”
UT’s George Goldhoff put the Longhorns on the board with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Petersen at the No. 4 singles spot. Then Little dropped a 6-1, 6-4 decision to Leonardo Telles.
Tchoutakian fought hard against UT’s 36th-ranked Harrison Scott, but the Longhorn player pulled out a 6-4, 7-5 win to push the Bears to the brink of elimination. Bendeck put himself in position to win his match, but the Bears’ chances were snuffed out when Benitez suffered a 7-6(4), 6-3 loss to No. 25 Sigsgaard on court one to close out the match.
Though Baylor’s team portion of the season comes to an end, three BU players — Benitez, Schretter and Tchoutakian – will take part in the NCAA singles tournament starting next Wednesday.