By Braden Simmons | Reporter
No. 5 Baylor men’s tennis moves to 3-0 by defeating Nebraska in a sweep Monday at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center, once again feeding off the energy of a large crowd.
After a strong start to their season Saturday, the Bears continued where they left off and extended their winning streak to three games by sweeping the Cornhuskers 7-0. This was the Bears first matchup against a Power 5 opponent this season.
The Bears set the tone of the match early by dominating doubles play in all three games. They never trailed in a set as Ryan Dickerson and Matias Soto earned a 6-0 victory, and Sven Lah and Constantin Frantzten earned the Bears first point with a 6-3 win.
Boland said was happy with how his team started out fast in doubles play.
“We did a really great job bringing the energy and having the aggressive mentality needed to be effective on the doubles court,” Boland said.
In singles play, the Bears won all games in straight sets. Freshman Sebastian Nothhaft started the momentum for the Bears with a 6-2, 6-3 victory on court six against Bradley Mittleman. Boland said he was impressed with the performance of the freshman in his first collegiate appearance.
“Considering how hard it is to play your first match, I thought Sebastian composed himself well and was one of the first ones off the court,” Boland said.
Junior Sven Lah earned the next point for the Bears with a convincing defeat of Victor Moreno in straight sets 6-0, 6-3 on court two, and freshmen Rahul Dhokia completed his third collegiate match with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court five.
On court one, junior Matias Soto clinched the Bears’ victory. During the match, Soto battled back and forth before forcing Albert Sprlak-Puk into a tie break in the first set. He then dominated the second set to finish the match at 7-6, 6-1.
Soto credited Nebraska for their strong start during singles play.
“Nebraska is a great team and they came ready to play,” Soto said. “Finn and I struggled in the beginning in our first sets, but I think our team is playing at a high level.”
Freshman Finn Bass also faced a competitive first set on court four. Bass had to fight off multiple set points to stay alive in the first set and force a tiebreaker against Andre Saleh, but went on to win his match 7-6, 6-2 depsite the challenge.
The Bears look to improve off their strong start as they move on from opening weekend.
“It’s early in the season and there are so many things to get better to compete at the level I know we can,” Boland said.
With the ITA Kick-off Weekend coming up, Soto said he is excited to playing in the National Indoor tournament at home and believes his team is ready for the upcoming challenges in the weekend ahead.
Baylor will be back on the court Saturday at 3 p.m. to face Gonzaga in the ITA Kickoff tournament. The match will be played in the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center and the winner will face either Louisville or New Mexico at 3 p.m. Sunday.