By Phillip Ericksen
The 15th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team won the outright Big 12 Regular Season Championship after beating the 37th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs 5-2 Sunday. The team also celebrated senior Roberto Maytin’s “Senior Night.”
“It is hard to win a conference championship,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We certainly don’t take them for granted. There are so many great teams in this league and to have to travel around and to have to travel around and stick together and find a way to win one is awesome. TCU is a good team and it was a tough night for us. We had already won a share of the title and I think it is hard to feel some sense of accomplishment. We really changed ourselves to come out and play a great match and they came out and pushed us in every spot.”
The Bears clinched the doubles point after the team of sophomore Marko Krickovic and freshman Julian Lenz won their match 9-7. The winning point came on a crowd-pleasing Krickovic overhead. The team of junior Patrick Pradella and senior Roberto Maytin won 8-2.
Pradella, Maytin and Lenz also had strong singles performances. Pradella, ranked 29th, won 6-4, 6-4, Maytin won 6-3, 6-1 and 43rd-ranked Lenz won 6-4, 6-4. The fifth win came from Krickovic.
“We all knew that we had to compete really hard to win this match today,” Lenz said. “And we did a really great job of it. We absolutely didn’t want to share the trophy with Oklahoma, so we just focused on getting these four points and we obviously got it. So we’re all really happy right now and looking forward to the conference tournament.”
The Bears will play the winner of TCU and Texas Tech at noon Saturday in Norman, Okla. to begin the Big 12 Tournament.
The team finished the season with an 18-4 overall record while going 5-0 in conference play. They are also riding a nine-match win streak.