By Jarrod Leicher | Reporter
No. 4 Baylor defeated No. 5 Texas 4-0 on Friday at the opening day of the 2021 ITA DI National Men’s Team Indoor Championship in Champaign, Ill., marking the first time since 2015 that the Bears have advanced to the semifinals of the event.
In doubles play, Baylor narrowly defeated Texas finishing with a tiebreaker as Texas’ Eliot Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab won the set 6-4 in court one against 10th-ranked Sven Lah and Constantin Frantzen. The Bears tied up the match on court two with Charlie Broom and Matias Soto defeating Payton Holder and Chih Chi Huang 6-4.
Baylor took the point in a narrow tiebreaker on court three where Nick Stachowiak and Spencer Furman made their Baylor doubles debut, defeating Micah Braswell and Cleeve Harper 7-6(7).The two transfers played on the doubles court together during their time at Duke. Furman said it felt familiar sharing the court with Stachowiak.
“We know each other’s games so well,” Furman said. “To be able to play with Nick brought back some old memories. I thought [clinching the doubles point] was big, we used that momentum going into singles. Everyone won their first set across the board, so we did a really good job of starting off the match.”
In singles play the Bears swept the match with three straight points giving them the win. The first point was earned by Furman on court six, defeating Even McDonald 6-2,6-3. The next point was gained on court five by Broom defeating Huang 6-3, 6-4.
Interim head coach Michael Woodson told Baylor Athletics he was impressed with his team’s confidence and resilience throughout the match.
“They have so much belief in themselves and in each other that we play our best tennis when it matters,” Woodson said. “To take a tough doubles point, then come out and battle to win six first sets after being down in some is just, again a testament to their belief in each other and in themselves. I thought it was a fantastic performance. Our guys just made it about tennis and I really loved that about tonight.”
Ending the match and giving the win to Baylor in court one, Adrian Boitan grinded out a 6-3, 7-5 victory against Woldeab. The win is Baylor’s third straight over Texas, with last two victories coming in the 2021 season alone.
The Bears will face the winner of the No. 1-ranked USC and host team Illinois match in Saturday’s semifinals at 6:30 p.m. CT at Atkins Tennis Center.