By Phillip Ericksen
The 29th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team beat the Wichita State Shockers 6-1 Friday. The win brings the Bears to 12-4 this season.
“I thought some guys played well,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We had some good spots. Doubles was certainly great. I think after the first sets and halfway through the second, I thought it was a really good day. We kind of lost our momentum and focus down the stretch and didn’t finish as well as we would’ve liked, but a lot of guys got some wins and I thought it was a positive day.”
In doubles, the team of senior Roberto Maytin and junior Robert “Woody” Verzaal won 8-3. To clinch the point, sophomores Marko Krickovic and Diego Galeano won 8-3.
Singles was a similar story for the Bears, as they won five of the six matches.
Junior Patrick Pradella, ranked 64th in the nation, won 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) on Court 1. Freshman Julian Lenz, ranked 49th, also won 6-2, 6-4 on Court 2.
“You have to beat these teams,” Lenz said. “We are just trying to focus on the things we can control.”
He also made a mysterious reference to “Fred H. Cat,” which was on the team’s new warm-up shirts, but refused to reveal the meaning. Coach Knoll also jokingly declined to comment on the topic.
In the other singles matches, Galeano was dominant in a 6-0, 6-3 victory, as was sophomore Tony Lupieri, who won 6-0, 6-2. Sophomore Mate Zsiga, ranked 98th, won 6-2, 6-2.
The lone loss came from Krickovic, who lost 1-6, 7-6, 0-1 (8-10). Ranked 97th, a frustrated Krickovic hurled his racquet to the court after the match.
The Bears’ next match will be against the California Golden Bears at 1 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Center on Mar. 26.
“They have a great team,” Knoll said. “They’re having a good season. I know they just beat Duke, so they’re going to be tough. It’s going to be a big step up for us and we’re going to have to play a lot better.”