Tennis begins spring with success

By Will Potter

The Baylor men and women’s tennis teams started off the spring season with strong showings in each of their respective tournaments. The men placed the tandem of sophomore Roberto Maytin and senior John Peers in the finals of the main draw at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup on Monday in Thousand Oaks, Calif. For the women, junior Diana Nakic reached the title match Sunday at National Collegiate Tennis Classic in La Quinta, Calif.

Maytin and Peers, the No. 1 doubles seed of the tournament, cruised into the final before being defeated for the first time this season, 8-6.

“We didn’t mix things up as well as we should have in our service games,” Peers said.

For the title Maytin and Peers faced the No. 2 seeded Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher from Stanford and began the match by holding serve, breaking Stanford, then holding once more to gain an early 3-0 lead.

The Cardinal, however, fought back to a 5-4 score in favor of the Bears. That lead would be Baylor’s last of the match as Stanford served to tie the match then broke to take a 6-5 advantage.

Baylor tied the match at 6-6, but Stanford took the last two sets for the victory.

Maytin and Peers have an overall record of 13-3 when playing together since the fall season.

“We are good friends and we have good communication,” Maytin said.

Peers offered similar insight when asked what the key is to their success as a duo.

“We just know what the other person is going to do without even saying anything,” Peers said.

Senior Jordan Rux and junior Kike Grangeiro fought their way into the doubles consolation finals but did not get to play their final match, thus finishing the tournament with a 2-1 overall record.

When asked about the expectations for the Baylor men’s tennis team this year, head coach Matt Knoll was confident.

“We have a chance to have a very special year,” he said.

On the women’s side, Nakic rolled into the finals with relative ease but could not pull out the final match.

When asked why Nakic was so successful in this tournament, Lady Bears head coach Joey Scrivano simply said, “She puts in the work every day, she is extremely coachable and she does all the little things well.”

But Nakic could not quite get going against No. 5 Hilary Barte of Stanford, who never lost a set the entire tournament. From the beginning of the match, Barte controlled play and took the first set, 6-2, before ending the match in the second set with the score 6-0.

Although Nakic could not pull out a championship victory for the Bears in singles, she teamed up with freshman Aya Bara and took the doubles consolation prize. The Baylor duo dominated Texas’ Julia Wiegand and Elizabeth Begley, 8-1, to win the consolation bracket.

In their first dual matches of the spring season, the seventh-ranked Baylor men will face the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at 3 p.m. today, while the Lady Bears square off with the Houston Cougars at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Both matches are will be held at the Baylor Tennis Center.