By Cody Soto
As if one win wasn’t enough, then two wins must be a statement. The No. 5-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team defeated No. 11 Virginia 5-2 Sunday afternoon at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center for their second win over the Cavaliers in 15 days.
Virginia only has two losses on the season, but both have come to Baylor. The Bears took a 4-3 win to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championships on Feb. 14, and the win at home has the Bears’ resume looking good heading into conference play.
The duo of sophomore Vince Schneider and junior Felipe Rios knocked off Virginia’s Mac Styslinger and Jonathan Cornish 6-1 on court three, and junior Julian Lenz and senior Diego Galeano took a 6-3 win on court two to give Baylor its 11th-straight doubles point of the season. The Bears have yet to lose in doubles play.
“It’s funny because we don’t really practice doubles a lot,” senior Mate Zsiga said. “We play a few games, but we feel confident with our partners. It’s worked out so far. We don’t do anything special, but we make good decisions and keep doing that over and over again.”
Baylor went on to claim four singles points as Zsiga blew past Virginia’s J.C. Aragone 6-0, 6-2 on court five, followed by Rios with the 6-1, 6-4 win on court six to push the Bears one step closer to the match victory.
No. 11-ranked Lenz took down his second No. 2-ranked opponent in a one-week timeframe as he fought past Ryan Shane to win an exciting 6-4, 7-5 match for Baylor.
“Every time Ryan Shane hits the ball, he knocks the cover off of it,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “Julian is a very experienced guy. He has been in that situation a lot. We know he is going to be a fighter and be resilient. Ryan plays huge and I am proud of Julian for getting through it.”
The Bears head into Big 12 play on Tuesday night as TCU comes to Waco. Baylor has yet to lose to the Horned Frogs since 2001, including 14-straight victories.
“TCU has a really good team that is very talented,” Knoll said. “They have recruited really well and are having sort of a breakthrough season. It is unusual for us to play a Big 12 match this early and it will be a big challenge.”
Baylor and TCU face off at 6 p.m. today at the Hurd Tennis Center. The match could be moved into the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center if there is inclement weather.