By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor
Men’s tennis on the way to national indoors
The Bears are heading to a 10th-straight ITA Indoor Championship after a resounding 4-1 comeback win over Texas A&M Sunday at the SMU Tennis Complex in Dallas.
Fourth-year junior Sven Lah punched the ticket for No. 4 Baylor with a 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-5 upset victory against No. 33 Juan Carlos Aguilar on court three. Lah, who is ranked 43rd in singles and 10th in doubles with Constantin Frantzen, fought back two match points after being down two service breaks to win seven of the last eight games in the match.
“I was just trying to stay out there because Adi [Boitan] and Nick [Stachowiak] were still out there battling next to me,” Lah told Baylor Bear insider Jerry Hill after the match. “Bringing it back 4-2, I felt I had a good chance to stay with him and that’s what happened. I trusted my skills, trusted my guys, I’ve been in this situation enough to know the guy on the other side feels the nerves to close it out. I’m just happy we got a chance to compete.”
Baylor and A&M were originally scheduled to play on Jan. 24 in Ann Arbor, Mich., during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, but the match was postponed when the University of Michigan had to pause all athletic events on campus. Lah said the team was originally told the match wouldn’t be rescheduled and the Aggies would be given the spot in the championship. But the match was able to be rescheduled, giving the Bears a chance to fight their way to Champaign, Ill.
Baylor went into singles play down by one after dropping the doubles point to A&M. The Bears got a hot start in singles play, taking five first-set wins, including two tiebreakers. Grad transfer Spencer Furman put Baylor on the board with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Raphael Perot on court six. Fellow grad transfer Charlie Broom, ranked No. 103, battled back a 4-1 deficit in the first set against Guido Marson to give Baylor the lead with a 7-5, 6-2 win on court five.
With his highest ranked win of the season, No. 56 Matias Soto notched the Bears’ third point with a 7-6(10), 6-1 victory over No. 13 Hady Habib on court two. It was Soto’s third win over a ranked opponent this season after wins over Texas’ Eliot Spizzirri (No. 120) and Michigan’s Ondrej Styler (No. 28).
Lah then clinched the match after being down 4-0 in the final set, climbing back to tie the set 5-5 and then propelling himself to his first ranked win of the season over No. 33 Aguilar.
Baylor will head to Champaign, Ill., this upcoming weekend to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Interim head coach Michael Woodson said he’s excited for the Bears to face a tough level of competition.
“I feel like it’s right where we belong. I’m really excited about it,” Woodson said. “There’s absolutely no one that has played anywhere near the caliber of schedule that we have, and these guys deserve it. They’ve answered the call and we’ve responded well to adversity. We’re just thrilled to be able to go to Champaign and be able to test ourselves against the best of the best. We can’t wait.”
Women’s tennis vanquish Aggies on the road
No. 20 women’s tennis prevailed over Texas A&M with a 5-2 win Sunday at the Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, moving to 7-1 on the season.
Juniors Mel Krywoj and Alicia Herrero Linana tallied their third ranked win on the doubles court in the No. 1 spot. Krywoj and Herrero Linana took down No. 39th-ranked Tatiana Makarova and Jayci Goldsmith 6-2. Audrey Boch-Collins and Angelina Shakhraichuk gave Baylor the doubles point with a 6-3 win over A&M’s Riley McQuaid and Jessica Anzo 6-3 on court three.
Jessica Hinojosa grabbed a 6-1, 6-3 win over Goldsmith on court two for Baylor’s first singles win of the day. Livia Kraus then put the bears ahead 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Renee McBryde on court four. The Aggies were able to get on the board when Kris Sorokolet fell 6-4, 6-4 to Dorthea Faa-Hviding on court five.
Shakhraichuk clinched the match for Baylor with a 7-5, 6-2 win on court six over McQuaid. The final two matches were played out with Herrero Linana grabbing a straight-sets win over Katya Townsend, 6-3, 6-3 on court three and Krywoj dropping a tough three set match 6-3, 6-7(40, 0-1(5) on the top court.
Baylor will be back at home to face North Texas at noon Friday at the Hurd tennis Center.