Men’s tennis downs Cardinals, Aggies to stay perfect

Photo credit: Baylor Athletics

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

The No. 14-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team remained undefeated this weekend with wins over Lamar and No. 20 Texas A&M in Houston.

The Bears (5-0) took down the Cardinals (3-3) 6-1 on Friday before defeating the Aggies (1-3) on Sunday afternoon.

Following the win over Texas A&M, Baylor head coach Matt Knoll said his young team is continuing to improve as the season progresses.

“One of the things I feel good about is that we have improved,” Knoll said. “I think last time we had some jitters with so many younger guys. I feel like we have settled in and are just playing a little bit better. I thought we played well against Lamar, and I think we played better today. That is something we hopefully can keep building on.”

Baylor sophomores Will Little and Johannes Schretter opened Friday with a 6-1 doubles win over Lamar’s Jusso Laitinen and Logan Powell.

Fellow second-year players Jimmy Bendeck and Juan Benitez picked up a 6-3 victory over Sebastian Santibanez and Michael Feucht as the Bears clinched the doubles point to go up 1-0 in the match.

Lamar picked up its only point of the day with Baylor freshman Bjoern Petersen retiring from his singles match due to injury.

The Bears had little trouble with the rest of the match, with freshman Constantin Frantzen, Little and Benitez picking up singles wins to clinch the match for Baylor at 4-1.

Play continued, however, with Schretter and Bendeck winning in singles to cement the win at 6-1.

Lamar coach Scott Shankles was disappointed in the loss but was impressed with the effort that was shown.

“This is a very talented team we played tonight,” Shankles told LamarCardinals.com. “Baylor does not play like a young team, and they’re ranked for a reason.”

On Sunday, Little and Bendeck took care of Jordi Arconada and Max Lunkin with a 6-4 victory, and Benitez and Frantzen paired up to defeat Aleksandre Bakshi and AJ Catanzariti 6-4 as the Bears took the doubles point.

Senior Max Tchoutakian picked up the first singles win of the day with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Catanzariti, and Little followed it up with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Bakshi to put the Bears up 3-0.

Frantzen clinched the match for Baylor with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Valentin Vacherot.

The victory was Baylor’s second win over the Aggies this season as Frantzen clinched the match for the Bears on Jan. 28 in College Station.

Knoll said Frantzen is impressive for a freshman, and he hopes to see him grow even more as the season progresses.

“Constantin is maturing,” Knoll said. “He has got some weapons and he really listens. He has a great demeanor with a relaxed intensity, which will be important for him going forward.”

The undefeated Bears look to continue their hot start as they host Purdue at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.

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