By Sean Doerre
Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
Baylor men’s and women’s tennis teams earned their way to the NCAA Round of 16 following dominant 4-1 victories over No. 43 Tulsa and No. 20 Rice respectively.
The No. 6 Baylor men’s tennis team (25-5) defeated No. 43 Tulsa, 4-1, Sunday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center to earn a spot in the NCAA Championship Round of 16 for a 13th-consecutive season.
The match was originally scheduled to be played outdoors, but high winds forced the Bears inside.
Baylor again claimed the doubles point for the second straight day with wins on courts two and three. The pairing of Julian Lenz and Michel Dornbusch was first to finish, getting past Carlos Bautista and Daniel Santos, 8-2. BU clinched the point with an 8-6 victory by Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri over Tulsa’s Japie De Klerk and Alejandro Espejo on court two.
Baylor continued to roll in singles, jumping out to a 2-0 lead following a 6-0, 6-3 win by Dornbusch on court four. Tulsa would answer back with a 6-4, 6-3 Espejo win on court three over No. 31 Galeano to bring the score to 2-1.
After losing his first two games, Mate Zsiga fought back to win 11 of his last 16 games to record a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dylan McCloskey on court five, to put the Bears a point away from clinching the match.
Almost as soon as Zsiga’s match was decided, Lupieri closed out Carlos Bautista on court six 6-4, 6-2 to claim the match for the Bears.
Baylor will face No. 12 Illinois at 11 a.m. on Friday in the Round of 16. All matches will be played on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
For the ninth time in 10 years, the Baylor women’s tennis team is headed to the NCAA Championships round of 16, after a 4-1 victory against No. 20 Rice on Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
The 13th-ranked Lady Bears (26-6) earned the doubles point for the 16th straight contest by taking wins on courts two and three.
Ema Burgic and Kiah Generette got things started with an 8-3 victory over Alison Ho and Dominique Harmath at the No. 2 spot. However, Rice battled back as Victoria Kisialeva and Jordaan Sanford fell to the 54th-ranked tandem of Natalie Beazant and Liat Zimmermann, 8-3, at the top of the lineup.
Clinching the point for BU, the 84th-ranked tandem of Blair Shankle and Alex Clay dispatched of Solomiya Zinko and Katherine Ip, 8-6 on court three. The Lady Bear tandem went up 4-0 in the match, but Rice stormed back to cut the lead to 6-5. From that point, three holds in a row gave BU the 8-6 victory and the doubles point.
In singles action, Clay carried over the momentum from the doubles with a resounding 6-1, 6-3 victory over Ho at the bottom of the lineup. Shankle quickly followed her partner’s lead with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph at the No. 4 spot over Zimmerman to put Baylor up 3-0.
Forty minutes later, the Owls got their only point of the match as the 46th-ranked Sanford had her 16-match win streak broken with a 6-4, 6-4 loss to No. 114 Ip on court three.
The Rice rally was ended as the 81st-ranked Burgic downed No. 101 Harmath, 7-6(3), 6-4 at the No. 2 spot.
Baylor will face No. 4 Virginia at 11 a.m. on Thursday in Athens, Ga., in the Round of 16.