Men’s tennis upsets top-seeded TCU to advance to championship match

Baylor junior Johannes Schretter serves in a March 23 match against Tulsa. Shretter and the Bears upset top-seeded TCU 4-2 and will take on Texas in the Big 12 Tournament championship match. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor men’s tennis kept its underdog run alive in the Big 12 Tournament Saturday afternoon in Austin.

The fifth-seeded Bears upset the top-seeded TCU Horned Frogs 4-2, avenging a 4-1 loss on April 19 in Fort Worth to advance to Sunday’s championship round.

The match opened with three competitive matches in doubles play. The freshmen duo of Sven Lah and Roy Smith started off strong for Baylor by claiming a 6-3 win on court two.

But TCU responded as the fourth-ranked combo of senior Guillermo Nunez and junior Alex Rybakov edged junior Johannes Schretter and freshman Akos Kotorman 6-4 on court one.

With the doubles point riding on court three, TCU freshman Max Kurzban and junior Reese Stalder edged out redshirt junior Will Little and sophomore Constantin Frantzen in a tiebreak to claim the win 7-6 and put the Horned Frogs in front 1-0.

Baylor evened the match at one apiece on the racquet of Lah on court four. Lah dropped the opening set 6-2, but earned the break and led 4-2 in the second when his opponent, sophomore Alastair Gray retired with an injury.

Frantzen gave the Bears a 2-1 lead, taking a straight sets victory on court six, 6-4, 6-2. Little then took down Nunez 6-4, 6-4 on court three, giving Baylor a 3-1 lead.

TCU cut the deficit to 3-2 after Smith dropped a 7-6, 6-3 decision on court four. With the match on the line, all eyes fell upon Schretter on court one and freshman Matias Soto on court two.

Soto dropped the opening set 7-5 to senior Trevor Johnson, but responded to take the second 7-5 and force a decisive third set. Soto fell behind 4-2 early in the set, but came storming back to tie it and force a tiebreak.

Again, Johnson surged ahead 5-2 at the changeover, but Soto won the final five points to take the tiebreaker 7-5 and send the Bears onto the championship round.

No. 5 Baylor (20-8) will take on the winner of No. 2 Texas at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Big 12 Tournament championship.