Men’s tennis team wins three of four matches over spring break

Ryan Hannegan

Over spring break, Baylor men’s tennis played four sets of games winning three of four matches against USC, UCLA, California and Illinois.

The No. 12 Baylor men’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 5 USC on March 9 at the Marks Tennis Center.

The Bears got off to a quick start in doubles action with wins on courts two and three. The Baylor duo of Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri secured the first victory for the Bears on court two by a score of 8-1.

In the deciding doubles point, the combo of Julian Lenz and Michel Dornbusch outlasted Roberto Quiroz and Rob Bellamy to record an 8-6 victory and give the Bears a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.

“It was a great opportunity for us,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We felt like we got off to a pretty good start. We won the doubles and won four first sets, but we just weren’t able to close out the match like we needed to. We left some opportunities on the table.”

In singles play, Lupieri gave Baylor a 2-0 advantage in the match with a 6-1, 6-1 upset victory over No. 43 Jonny Wang. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Trojans went on to sweep the remaining five matches.

No. 80 Quiroz claimed the first point for USC with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Mate Zsiga. Max de Vroom recorded an upset victory of No. 18 Galeano 6-3, 6-3 to even the match at 2-2. Eric Johnson got past No. 110 Dornbusch 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

The Trojans clinched the match winning point in a contest featuring both players tied for sixth in the ITA polls. After winning the first set 6-4, Lenz was unable to capitalize and fell by a final of 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-0. In the finals match on court, No. 10 Yannik Hanfmann defeated No. 13 Patrick Pradella 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-4 to bring the final score of the match to 5-2.The Bears would bounce back, winning all three of their remaining matches over the break.

Against No. 3 UCLA, Baylor posted a 4-2 upset victory at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

Dornbusch and Lenz were the first doubles pairing to secure a victory for the Bears on court two with an 8-7(9) victory over Joseph Di Giulio and Clay Thompson. UCLA struck back with an 8-7(4) victory. BU clinched the point with Galeano and Lupieri outlasting Gage Brymer and Mackenzie McDonald, 8-7(2) giving the Bears a 1-0 advantage heading into singles play.

In singles action, Baylor picked up the win with victories from Galeano, Lupieri, and Lenz who defeated No. 1 Thompson 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

“This win was a real credit to our guys,” coach Knoll said. “We have had some real disappointing results so far this season, but the guys have kept working and have really stuck together.”

The Baylor men’s tennis team recorded a 4-1 victory over No. 20 California in the opening match of the Oracle Collegiate Challenge at the BNP Paribas Open.

Baylor got off to a sluggish start dropping the doubles point with losses on courts two and three. Fillip Bergevi and Mads Engsted were the first pairing off court with an 8-2 victory over Lenz and Dornbusch followed by an 8-4 Andre Goransson and Ben McLachlan victory against Galeano and Lupieri.

In singles, Galeano quickly evened the match at one all with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 117 Bergevi, before Lupieri got past Engsted, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, to give Baylor a one point advantage. Lenz and Zsiga clinched the match for the Bears with 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 and 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 wins respectively.

“This has been a really challenging road trip for us,” junior Zsiga said. “We have been playing really hard and really good teams so in our entire match we have to give our best to get the most out of it. In our first match against USC we came in with a lot of assumptions and really learned a lot and you could see that in our match against UCLA. We tried to keep up the same energy level and do the same stuff we were doing against UCLA.”

Finally, the Bears earned a 4-0 victory over No. 6 Illinois Sunday in the Oracle Collegiate Challenge at the BNP Paribas Open.

The teams started the match with singles play, instead of the traditional three doubles matches.

Baylor’s Lupieri got off to a quick start winning the first five games against Alex Jesse, before closing out the match 6-1, 6-2.

Dornbusch was the next Baylor player to secure a win 7-5, 6-0 over Ross Guignon.

Pradella put Baylor up 3-0 with his 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 42 Tim Kopinski, before Lenz clinched the match point for the Bears with a 6-1, 7-6(5) victory over No. 17 Farris Gosea.

“It was a super trip for us,” coach Knoll said. “We had some goals we wanted to accomplish on this trip and we were able to do that. I think we are a much better team than we were when we got on the airplane. It was just a super nine days for us.”

The Bears will be back in action on Friday as they host No. 31 Tulsa at the Hurd Tennis Center.