By Pranay Malempati | Sports Writer
The twelfth-ranked Baylor Bears men’s tennis team swept the University of Pennsylvania 7-0 Saturday night at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. Baylor improved to a record of 7-1 on the season and remained undefeated at home.
The two teams started with doubles action. Baylor won the doubles point 3-0, as all three courts won their sets. Court two was the first to finish, as No. 23 junior Matias Soto and graduate transfer Ryan Dickerson quickly swept their set 6-0. On court one, No. 17 ranked senior Constantin Frantzen and junior Sven Lah sprinted out to a 5-0 start and won the set 6-1 to clinch the doubles point for Baylor. Finn Bass and Sebastian Nothhaft finished immediately after, winning their set 6-3.
Lah, ranked No. 24 in the nation for singles, clinched Baylor’s first singles victory with a 6-2, 6-1 win on court two over Penn’s Edoardo Graziani. The win gave the Bears a 2-0 lead overall.
Lah, who is undefeated in both singles and doubles matches since the beginning of the season, said his mental strength has been key to his success.
“I would say the mental side of my game improved a lot,” Lah said. “A little bit of the upside in the last couple of months, with that part. I think that’s the key aspect of my game right now. If I improve on that and get that thing going on, I think the court is going to be even better.”
Dickerson gave Baylor a 3-0 lead with his 6-3, 6-0 win over Aditya Gupta on court four. The first set was close, but Dickerson broke late in the set on a deuce point to give him a 5-3 lead. He closed the set out and ran through the second set quite easily.
Just one point away from the Bears’ claiming the overall victory, Soto and Bass were fighting to see who would finish first. Ultimately, it was Bass who clinched the win for Baylor with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court six over Penn’s Jonah Jurick.
Very soon after, No. 67 Soto finished off his own match on court one with a final score of 6-2, 6-4. He was the first player to win the first set, but quickly fell behind 1-3 at the start of the second. However, Soto came all the way back and pulled off the straight-sets victory.
The next man to finish was freshman Alex Garcia on court three, playing just his second singles match of the season. Garcia earned his first collegiate victory in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, bringing Baylor’s lead to 6-0.
Frantzen was the last to leave the court as he took on Harsh Parikh on court five. After dropping the first set 5-7 and coming back to take the second set 6-3, the senior sent the match to a winner-take-all third set.
Frantzen and Parikh played a tightly contested, back-and-forth final set until finally sending it to a tiebreaker at 6-6. Even the tiebreaker was extremely tight, as each player was unable to convert on multiple match points. Eventually Frantzen closed down the tiebreaker 11-9, giving the Bears a clean sweep.
Baylor head coach Brian Boland said he was happy that they were able to win on every court.
“There’s so much competition out here, it’s hard to win,” Boland said. “It’s particularly hard to win with a shutout. . . it’s nice to get a shutout. Everyone’s walking away tonight feeling pretty good.”