By Phillip Ericksen
The 22nd-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team showed another strong outing in a 5-0 victory over the 34th-ranked Memphis Tigers.
“The scoreboard says 5-0, but it was tough out there,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We had to fight hard, and I give Memphis a lot of credit for battling.”
The doubles team of sophomore Tony Lupieri and freshman Julian Lenz won 8-3, and the point clincher came from junior Patrick Pradella and senior Roberto Maytin winning an emotional 8-6 match. With Memphis serving down 6-7, Maytin hit a deep lob shot winner to secure the break in the last game.
The Bears (14-4) also fought hard in singles to get four victories.
Pradella and Lenz, ranked 33rd and 71st respectively, both won straight set-matches. Pradella won 6-4, 6-0 and Lenz won 6-1, 7-5.
“Those guys are doing great,” Knoll said. “I think that they’ve really improved. They’re playing with a lot of toughness and a lot of grit. They were able to win a lot of close games. Again, the matches were closer than the score indicated, but I’m really proud of both guys for fighting hard.”
The match clincher came from No. 80 Tony Lupieri with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory on Court 4. This is his sixth-consecutive singles win.
“Today the guys did a really good job,” Lupieri said. “Focus was at the top level, and I think if we continue playing like this, we will have a really good season.”
Sophomore Mate Zsiga, ranked 99th, also won 6-4, 6-4. Sophomore Diego Galeano’s and Maytin’s singles matches were unfinished.
The Bears will begin Big 12 play against Texas Tech at 1 p.m.on April 7 in Lubbock.
“We are so excited about it,” Lupieri said. “We know it’s not going to be easy there. It’s a lot of wind and they have a good team, but we’ll try to do our best and continue doing the same thing that we do. I think we have a good chance to win this match.”