By Will Potter
The stage is set for a clash between two of the nation’s top tennis teams today as the Baylor men play host to Texas A&M at 6 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center.
The Bears and Aggies will meet for the first time this season in a battle between the two teams tied atop the Big 12 with a combined 9-0 record in conference.
“The excitement of the match and the rivalry is really exciting,” senior John Peers said. “All of the talk and the hype has been very intense, and I can’t wait to get out there. And, as a team, we can’t wait to compete.”
The matchup between the No. 7 Baylor men and the No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies will decide who earns the Big 12 regular season championship and heads to the Big 12 tournament as the top seed.
“The team is really coming together, and everyone is improving each and every day,” Peers said. “If we come out on Wednesday night and click it is going to be really good. We can send a message to the conference and the rest of the country that we are a dangerous team heading into the NCAA Championships.”
Baylor heads into the showdown riding a 10 match winning streak, playing some of their best tennis of the season. Texas A&M is coming in to the match with a hot streak of its own, having won eight consecutive matches.
Neither team is looking to stop those streaks, and head coach Matt Knoll said the match is going to be a battle from first serve to the final match point.
“It is great to be in a conference like the Big 12 and have these major rivalries between two great athletic programs like Baylor and Texas A&M,” Knoll said. “The rivalry between these two schools in all sports and the rivalry between the fans is great. It is great to be a part of such an intense rivalry.”
The Bears are hosting the Aggies on senior night where Baylor will be honoring the senior trio of Peers, Jordan Rux and Sergio Ramirez.
“I don’t think that senior night is as big of a deal as it is that this match is for the Big 12 title,” Rux said. “I think it is a much bigger deal what this match means for our season. Winning on Wednesday night solidifies our place as number one in the conference.”
Fans are encouraged to come out, support the seniors in their last match of the Big 12 regular season at home and enjoy a battle between two top-10 programs.
“All of the fan support that we could get would be great,” Rux said. “I don’t think any of our fans want to see us lose to the Aggies. It would be pretty special if we could win the Big 12 title uncontested at home in front of a huge crowd.”