Story by Branson Hardcastle | Broadcast Reporter, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter
No. 23 Baylor men’s tennis dropped its first home match of the season Sunday afternoon against the 15th ranked Texas Longhorns. The Bears fell to 18-8 and 1-4 in Big 12 play. Texas was able to sweep the Bears for the first time this season, winning the match 4-0.
The match started off tightly contested in doubles play as both teams were fighting for every point. On court one, ninth ranked doubles team junior Johannes Schretter and redshirt junior Will Little played Christian Sigsgaard and Harrison Scott. Sigsgaard and Scott got the best of Schretter and Little, dominating the match 6-2.
Freshman tandem Roy Smith and Sven Lah answered with a 6-4 victory over Yuya Ito and Colin Markes on court three. All eyes turned to court two for the last doubles match between 54th ranked combo of freshman Akos Kotorman and sophomore Constantin Frantzen and Texas’ Adrian Ortiz and Leonardo Telles. After a close match, Ortiz and Telles pulled away and took the win to give the Longhorns a 1-0 lead and the momentum heading into singles competition.
In singles play, Texas jumped ahead early by winning the first set on all six courts. Freshman Matias Soto played No. 74 Harrison Scott on court three. Soto wasn’t able to rebound from the first set as he fell 6-4, 6-4.
With the Longhorns up 2-0, Sigsgaard was able to extend the lead for Texas by defeating sophomore Bjoern Petersen on court two 6-4, 6-3. Petersen was effective with his serves, but returns plagued him as many of his shots sailed long.
Baylor gained some momentum after going down 3-0 as three Bears fought back in the second set to reach the third set, but Smith was unable to reach the third set on court six against Ortiz. After dropping the first set 6-4 and being down 5-1 in the second, Smith fought back to make the score 5-4. Ortiz proved to be too much for Smith though as he took the second set 6-4 to clinch the victory for the Longhorns.
Before the match ended, 69th ranked Schretter led No. 49 Yuya Ito 5-7, 6-3, 2-0, on court one. Little led No. 97 Rodrigo Banzer 3-6, 6-3, 2-0 on court five. Lah also battled back on court four to push a third set against No. 88 Leonardo Telles. None of these matches finished as the overall match ended with Ortiz’s victory over Smith.
Head coach Matt Knoll said the bad play at the start of the match is what plagued the Bears in this matchup.
“Bad start in doubles and singles. At about the two hour, twenty minute mark we started to build momentum,” Knoll said. “Then all of a sudden, the whole tenor of the match changed, and we were there fighting for all four points. Things started to change, but unfortunately we waited too long.”
Baylor will play again in the Big 12 Championship April 27-29 in Austin to begin its postseason play.
Little said the team will be ready to compete in the Big 12 Championship.
“The guys will be motivated. We are going to train really hard this week and be ready to go,” Little said.
Baylor will be the fifth seed and will open against the fourth-seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys at 9 a.m. Friday in Austin.