By Will Potter
The No. 16 Baylor men’s tennis team stayed red hot as it dominated the eighth-ranked Stanford Cardinal 6-1 and kept their winning streak against ranked opponents intact.
The Bears defeated Stanford at the Baylor Tennis Center to end their eight-match home stand on a positive note, and by Baylor owned this match from start to finish. During the home stand, Baylor defeated four ranked opponents and impressed in each of those victories.
“The guys really decided to come together today and it showed on the court,” senior John Peers said. “We decided to work hard to improve every day so we can win the matches that count.”
Baylor snatched the doubles point versus Stanford early to give the team a 1-0 edge heading into singles. The win in doubles was the 12th consecutive doubles point won in dual match play this season and has become a major strength for the Bears.
The tandem of Julian Bley and Kike Grangeiro own a 12-1 record in doubles this spring and has been a consistent weapon in the lineup.
Baylor cruised out to an early lead and clinched the match by winning six out of the seven matches. Peers broke out of his recent funk to beat the No. 10 player in the nation and the defending NCAA national champion Bradley Klahn, 6-4, 7-6 in a well-executed straight set victory.
“Personally, I thought that I finally put two really good sets together and that is what showed in the result,” Peers said. “I don’t feel like I have been playing poorly; I just have not put a complete match together. Today I put it all together and came out with a win.”
The match was huge for Peers, who had lost three consecutive matches at the No. 1 spot after starting the season 10-0.
“I was very happy to see John bounce back today after losing a few matches in a row,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “That was a huge boost of confidence for him to win against such a quality opponent.”
Sophomore Roberto Maytin continued to play well as he defeated Denis Lin 6-4, 6-3 for his eighth win in his last nine times out on the hard court.
“Roberto is playing great tennis and I think it is because he really learned how to manage his errors better,” Knoll said. “He is such an extroverted, outgoing guy and he has started to bring those qualities on the court with him. It really has made an impact in his game.”
Baylor dropped only one match to Stanford in singles. The Bears are perfect all-time against the Cardinal, holding an 11-0 record with a 5-0 edge at home.
The win against Stanford improved the Bears’ winning streak to three consecutive matches, all of which have come over ranked opponents, including the victory over former No. 1 Tennessee. These victories have been huge for the confidence of this Baylor team.
Baylor has now won nine of its last 10 matches and heads in to Big 12 play with confidence.
“We are looking forward to what is coming up next,” Knoll said. “It gives everyone a lot of confidence heading in to Big 12 play and we are excited about building on our recent success.”
Next up for the Baylor men’s tennis team is a trip to Lubbock on Sunday to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders to open up Big 12 play.