Men’s, women’s tennis press forward after tackling Big 12 squads

By Will Potter

Neither the men’s or women’s tennis team is perfect after a gauntlet of nonconference opponents and stiff Big 12 competition, but both are in position for postseason play.

The women’s team traveled to t Oklahoma last weekend to face off a pair of Big 12 foes and made itself at home.

On Saturday, the Lady Bears dominated Oklahoma State 6-1, and the following day they punished the No. 19 Oklahoma Sooners, 5-2. The wins improved the No. 9 Lady Bears overall record to 14-3 with a 4-1 record in Big 12 play.

“I think we are really growing as a team and our maturity is improving as well,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “When you are mature you play smart tennis. Smart tennis always beats stupid tennis.”

The Lady Bears have been playing very smart tennis as of late, winning seven consecutive matches and looking like they are developing into top form.

“We have a lot of new faces in our lineup and the more time we have to work with them, the better they get,” Scrivano said. “The more matches they get under their belt, the better this team plays as a whole.”

The women were going to battle No. 2 Florida Wednesday in Gainesville, but the match, originally scheduled for earlier this season, was canceled because of heavy rain in the area.

Still, Scrivano said his team was completely ready for such a high-powered opponent.

“We are better prepared to play a team like Florida now than we were earlier in the season,” said Scrivano. “We are preparing for every match to put ourselves in the best position to win each time we step on the court.”

While the women’s tennis team was taking care of the state of Oklahoma, the men’s team traveled to Lubbock for a top-20 showdown with the No. 17 Texas Tech Red Raiders and emerged victorious in its first Big 12 match of the season.

Baylor edged the Red Raiders 4-3 on Sunday and although the final score was close, the Bears clinched this dual match as quickly as possible.

“We are very happy to win,” said head coach Matt Knoll. “It is tough to beat good teams like this. We knew it was going to be a battle and it sure was, but we are happy to have the win.”

For the 13th match in a row, Baylor claimed the early doubles point and then cruised to a 3-0 lead. It looked as if the match was going to be smooth sailing until Texas Tech made a furious comeback, winning three of the last four matches, but the early deficit proved to be too much to overcome.

With the win, the men improved their overall record to 12-3 with a 1-0 record in conference play. The win was the 10th win in the last 11 dual matches for the Bears and was a good way to start off their three-match road trip.

“Today we just stayed focused and got through the match pretty well,” Knoll said.

Next up for the Baylor men’s tennis team is a trip to Lincoln to face No. 41 Nebraska at 3 p.m. Saturday.