By Ryan Hannegan
The No. 8 Baylor men’s tennis team fell to No. 10 Virginia 6-1 on Saturday.
No. 18 women’s tennis had better luck, opening Big 12 Conference play with a 6-1 victory over No. 28 Texas Tech at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.
The Virginia men got out to a quick lead after claiming the doubles point with wins on courts one and two by identical 8-7(3) scores.
“We learned a lot today,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “It was a great day for us. We got a chance to play a great opponent in a good environment. We had some opportunities and weren’t able to execute like we needed to, but we are really excited about what is coming up down the road.”
The Bears recorded their first and only point in the match when No. 6 Julian Lenz claimed a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 4 Mitchell Frank to bring the score of the match to 3-1.
“It is a good thing for Julian,” coach Knoll said. “He lost to Mitchell earlier and it was great to get him back out there against a really strong guy. I know Julian was excited about the opportunity to play a guy like that and he played a pretty good match and took a big step for us.”
Virginia clinched the match point on court two with a 6-4, 6-3 Ryan Shane victory over No. 13 Patrick Pradella to give the Cavaliers a 4-1 lead in the match.
In women’s tennis action, the No. 18 Lady Bears opened Big 12 play with a 6-1 victory over No. 28 Texas Tech on Sunday.
“Texas Tech is a tough opponent,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “They have done very well over the last two years. We knew we had to be ready to play. I really liked the way my team competed. We just fought all the way through the end.”
In doubles, BU got past Texas Tech on courts one and three.
“This was a great start,” Junior Burgic said. “We’re really happy that all the hard work is paying off. The last few years starting Big 12 play was kind of rough. This year it’s paying off and we know what it takes.”
To claim the doubles point, the No. 42 team Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle won 8-2.
In singles action, Baylor won five of the six matches. To end the match, Alex Clay came back to earn the last victory of the day, 6-7(4-7), 6-2, 10-6.
“Fantastic effort,” coach Scrivano said of Clay. “Anytime you lose a first set 7-6, or any set for that matter, and you can bounce back, it’s huge. That says a lot about her mental toughness. She’s on the right track and we’re glad to see her in the lineup.”
Both men’s and women’s tennis teams will travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to play No. 2 USC March 9 and No. 4 UCLA March 12.
The Lady Bears will face No. 2 UCLA March 10 and No. 6 USC March 11.