No. 3 Baylor MT conquers No. 7 UVA in front of record-breaking attendance

Junior Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi went 2-0 Saturday against No. 7 University of Virginia at Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center, clinching the doubles point and earning a singles point in the process. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Intern

No. 3 Baylor men’s tennis commanded the court Saturday against No. 7 University of Virginia winning 4-2. Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center held a record-setting attendance of 431 fans that witnessed the ranked matchup.

The match was Baylor’s (11-0) first time meeting the Cavaliers (5-2) since 2015 and also their third win of the last four meetings.

“We played with great discipline,” head coach Micheal Woodson said. “We didn’t let ourselves get frustrated, and didn’t make bad decisions.”

Baylor showed discipline from the beginning, winning the doubles point. Senior Adrian Boitan and Texas Christian University transfer Tadeas Paroulek secured a 6-4 win on court three against UVA’s Jackson Allen and Jeffrey von der Schulenburg. Shortly after, on court two, senior Matian Soto and junior Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi clinched the doubles point barely besting No. 22 doubles pair Chris Rodesch and William Woodall, 7-5.

No. 18 Baylor pairing junior Finn Bass and fifth-year senior Sven Lah’s match was left unfished on court one, leading 5-4.

Regarding the singles portion of the match, Baylor’s Grassi Mazzuchi flew past UVA’s Alexander Kiefer winning 6-0, 6-4 on court six. Despite starting from behind at the beginning of set one, Bass defeated the Cavalier’s Allen in a drawn-out battle resulting in a Baylor victory, 6-3, 7-5. Soto lost his match 6-7(5), 3-6 along with Marko Miladinović’s who fell 3-6, 3-6.

However, to ensure a UVA defeat, No. 123 Lah won his matchup to No. 29 Ryan Goetz in three sets. The first set resulted in a score of 7-5 in favor of Lah as he fought back after initially being down 1-5. Then, Goetz responded strongly by shutting out Lah in the second set 6-0. In the third, Lah closed the game once and for all with a victorious score of 6-1.

“Maybe I was looking around a little too much, especially in the second [set],” Lah said. “Towards 4-0 in the second, I felt like, okay I’m just going to lock it in … I tried to minimize my energy output to kind of have it for the third set. So I felt great and in the beginning [of the third set] he was kind of flashy and made a little bit more errors early on. I tried to lock in.”

Although ultimately an unfinished match, junior Adrian Boitan battled hard in a tiebreaker on the court next to Lah. Lah said it’s nice to have other teammates still competing while he is.

“Adrian kind of stuck with me. He was battling as much as I was,” Lah said. “It always helps to have someone still on the court with you. A little less pressure, but I felt like it’s kind of the momentum started going my way.”

Something else that was helpful for Lah to gain momentum was the crowd. He said the fans did their job as the match broke an indoor attendance record of 431 people leaving only standing room for tennis fans, much to the appreciation of Woodson.

“Our guys love playing in front of big crowds. I’m appreciative of everybody that came.” Woodson said.

Baylor will next head to the ITA Division I National Indoor Tournament starting Friday. It’s possible the Bears will have to face UVA again during the tournament.

“Our guys need to see the level, and understand what they’re going to have to do to execute and ultimately put themselves in a position to win big tournaments and national events,” Woodson said.