Men’s tennis dominates opening weekend

Freshman Jimmy Bendeck celebrates after a point with a fist pump against UC-Irvine Saturday at Hurd Tennis Center. The Bears closed out the dual-match against UCI 4-1, claiming the team’s first victory to open the season. Photo credit: Trey Honeycutt

The Baylor men’s tennis team gained their first win of the season and their 451st win under head coach Matt Knoll on Saturday against the UC-Irvine.

The Bears won the match 4-1 to open the dual-match season and to start the International Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend hosted at the Hurd Tennis Center.

Baylor started the day off with multiple victories in doubles play. Senior Julian Lenz and redshirt freshman Will Little defeated Justin Agbayani and Jonathan Poon by a margin of 6-2. Meanwhile, junior Max Tchoutakian and senior Felipe Rios brought home a victory as well, winning their set 6-1.

In singles matches, three Baylor players walked away with a victory. Freshman Will Little, Felipe Rios, and freshman Jimmy Bendeck each scored a point for Baylor.

“I thought it was really exciting to finally get to play my first dual match after not playing for a year and a half redshirting. I was really kind of locked in I’d say for most of the match. I wasn’t really looking at the crowd or anything but I could kind of hear their voices which helped me push through.” – Baylor freshman Will Little

Baylor assistant coach Dominik Mueller was happy with his team’s performance as well.

“Overall I was pleased with the energy we brought. I think everybody had a couple of things they could improve. I think if we get one or two percent better on every single court, then I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It’s small margins, and that’s what it takes.” – Baylor assistant coach Dominik Mueller

Baylor finished opening weekend with another win over No. 49 Oregon on Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center. With that win, the Bears a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships which will take place between Feb. 12 and 15 at the University of Virginia in Charlotesville, Va.