Lenz, doubles team win tennis events

By Cody Soto
Sports Writer

Baylor men’s tennis took home two intercollegiate titles on Sunday after the team traveled to opposite sides of the American coast in their final fall tournaments.

Junior Felipe Rios and sophomore Vince Schneider were named doubles champions at the Jack Kramer Intercollegiate in Rolling Oaks Estates, Calif. on Sunday. The duo won four straight matches in four days to win the title.

This was the first time that Schneider and Rios have played together at a meet, and the team won Baylor’s first championship at the Jack Kramer Intercollegiate since senior Tony Lupieri won the singles draw in 2013.

“Felipe and Vince had great energy and were really positive throughout the week,” assistant coach Robin Goodman said. “They played fantastically together and focused completely on winning the doubles title.”

The doubles team knocked off Stanford’s Anthony Tsodikov and Brandon Sutter in the opening round 8-2 on Thursday to face USC’s Robbie Bellamy and Tanner Smith in round two. On Friday, Schneider and Rios took an 8-5 win over the team and cruised past SMU’s Arkadijs Slobodkins and Nathaniel Lammons on Saturday 8-3 to reach the final match.

The duo defeated another Stanford team for the title, this time David Wilczynski and Nolan Paige in an 8-3 decision on Sunday.

In Flushing, N.Y., junior Julian Lenz won the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships singles consolation title on Sunday behind four straight wins after dropping his opening match.

Lenz lost 6-4, 6-4 to ninth-ranked Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt to be knocked out of the main draw and had to play in the consolation bracket for the rest of the meet.

The top-ranked Bear took a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 win over No. 18 Denis Nguyen from Harvard on Saturday to advance to the bracket’s semifinal round. Lenz then won his third straight weekend victory over Stanford’s Thomas Fawcett 6-3, 6-4 to claim his spot in the final match on Sunday.

The Giessen, Germany junior beat No. 13 Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA 7-6, 0-6, 6-4, to win the consolation singles title on Sunday and bring home Baylor’s first event title since 2002.

“Julian really progressed throughout the tournament and learned how to deal with adversity,” assistant coach Dominik Mueller said. “We had a clear game plan and Julian executed it in the first and third sets. He was able to bounce back after having terrible mental focus in the second set. I am proud of him and how he came back from a tough first-round loss to bring home a title.”

The two tournament title wins brings an end to the team’s fall season. The Bears will return to action on Jan. 2 for the USTA $10K Florida Futures event in Plantation, Fla.