By Phillip Ericksen
The 18th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team defeated Texas-Pan American and UT Arlington 7-0 in a doubleheader Saturday.
“In terms of our energy, our focus level, our execution, I think all those things are way better than they’ve been,” said head coach Matt Knoll. “I’m really optimistic about what’s coming up next.”
Senior Roberto Maytin was a standout, winning his two singles matches 6-2, 6-2 against UTPA and 6-2, 6-0 against UTA.
“I’m happy I’m playing better right now,” Maytin said. “Now I just have to keep practicing and getting better.”
Freshman Tony Lupieri also won four total matches, including a come-from-behind victory over Soren Goritzka 6-3, 7-5. He trailed 5-2 in the second set at one point.
Sophomore Diego Galeano won his singles matches 6-3, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-0 against UTPA and UTA respectively, and sophomore Mate Zsiga, ranked 76th in the nation, won in singles 6-2, 6-1 against UTA.
Freshman Julian Lenz, ranked 59th, won his singles match 6-2, 6-2 in dominant fashion in the No. 1 spot against UTA.
“It was a really special day for the whole team,” Lenz said. “I can feel how I improve from day-to-day, and it’s just getting better from every single practice session to the next one.”
Junior Patrick Pradella was also dominant in two singles matches, winning 6-0, 6-1 against UTPA and 6-1, 6-1 against UTA.
The team easily clinched the doubles points in both matches, making them a perfect 6-0 in doubles play all season. Doubles only makes up 13 percent of match play, but Baylor doesn’t take that aspect lightly.
“We’ve got a couple teams that are kind of gelling,” Knoll said. “I think we’ve got some guys who have been in the program that understand doubles, and that’s been a plus for us. We’re certainly going to continue to build on that, and I know the guys have a lot of confidence in doubles and that shows when they play.”
The team’s next match will be on the road against the University of North Florida on Feb. 21. Two days later, they will take on the No.11 Florida Gators in Gainesville, Fla.
“We don’t have a signature win yet, and we’re going to have another opportunity when we go down to Gainesville next week,” Knoll said. “We’re way more prepared than we were last time we played a team of that caliber, so we’re excited. We’re going to go down there and see what happens.”