“All sorts of madness”; No. 4 Baylor MT takes two big wins at home

No. 4 Baylor men's tennis beat Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to finish with a home record of 11-1 this season. Grace Everett | Photographer

AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Writer

No. 4 Baylor men’s tennis did not disappoint, clinching two wins this weekend. On Friday the team swept No. 44 Oklahoma State University 7-0 and on Sunday they took a 6-1 victory in a seven-hour battle against No. 34 University of Oklahoma.

The Bears (21-3, 3-1 Big 12) started off with a bang as they prohibited Oklahoma State (11-8, 0-2 Big 12) from gaining their fifteenth straight doubles win. The work was done on courts two and three. No. 21 pairing junior Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi and senior Matias Soto started the fire with a 6-3 win and junior Adrian Boitan and sophomore Tadeas Paroulek fanned the flames taking a 6-2 victory. No. 4 junior Finn Bass and senior Sven Lah’s match went unfinished 4-4.

In singles, Baylor was on a roll hitting lots of big milestones. On court three No. 31 Lah snatched his 100th singles win, much to Cowboy’s Maxim Verboven’s chagrin. The match was close, but Lah bested Vermoven 7-5, 6-7(5), 10-5.

“I finally got it done,” Lah said. “Last match against TCU, it was something I was thinking about going into the third (set). There was already enough pressure going into 3-3, being the decider. Unfortunately, losing 6-0, you never want to lose 6-0. Just a lot of emotions. And I think today, the same thing happened, but I somehow got it over with.”

Additionally, No. 15 Boitan remained undefeated in singles match after a close win against OSU’s Tyler Zink 6-7(2), 6-4, 10-8. Boitan took the last remaining point for Baylor to make the match a 7-0 sweep.

“It was a really tough match, credit to Tyler [Zink],” Boitan said. “He really showed up today and put up a fight. I really had to bring my best at the end to close it. I’m happy I’m still undefeated and I hope to compete that way Sunday as well.”

The other Bears showed up and showed out in front of the home crowd. Paroulek refused to drop a set and took the first singles point 6-0, 6-0. Grassi Mazzuchi defeated former-Bear Joseph Chen 6-1, 6-1 on court six. Similarly, No. 50 Soto and Bass took wins over ex-Bears Alex Garcia and Sebastian Nothhaft respectively. Soto won 6-4, 6-4 and Bass 7-5, 6-7(5), 10-5. All victories lead to Baylor’s third sweep over OSU.

“There were some really competitive matches,” head coach Micheal Woodson said. “It was great to see Sven get over the hump there at the end, I know that’s getting the monkey off his back with 100 wins so he can relax and play now. To win a couple of competitive, 10-point breakers is exactly what these guys need. We need to continue to compete, be pushed, and try to get better every day. A great crowd; it was a lot of fun and beautiful weather and we’re excited to do it again one more time for the regular season here on Sunday for the seniors.”

Sunday’s match, as Lah said, was “all sorts of madness.” With a late start to the match as No. 21 Baylor women’s tennis finished taking care of business, the men’s team was tested from the start. The pressure of senior night, two rain delays and gusty winds tried their hardest to throw off the Bears, but the green and gold remained focused and ultimately left the Hurd with a win over the Sooners (13-7, 1-2 Big 12).

“There were so many distractions today. Even just the whole weekend with everything that happened on Friday night, everybody’s family coming in – some never been in the States before,” Woodson said. “We don’t start anywhere near on time. Rain delays, starts and stops and ‘Are we going to go inside? Are we not?’ It’s just taxing on the body and mind … but again for us to turn and close some of those matches and allow seniors to kind of have the spotlight for a while was pretty cool. I was proud of the effort today.”

Matching their success on Friday, the same line-up of doubles pairings showed up and showed out. Bass and Lah refused to drop a set and took the first match, 6-0. Soon after, duo Soto and Grassi Mazzuchi officially put the green and gold on the board by winning their match, 6-3 and clinching the point.

Singles play held lots of close matchups. Baylor put their second point on the board from court six as Grassi Mazzuchi won 6-4, 6-0. Marko Miladinovic fell on court four 4-6, 4-6 bringing the score to overall 2-1.

Courts three and five held tight matches with close points and tense rallies. Paroulek prevailed on court three 6-4, 7-5 encouraging Bass to clinch the win for the Bears on court five 6-4, 7-6(1).

“The pressure started to be applied to [Oklahoma],” Woodson said. “Once Teddy [Paroulek] broke that put a lot of pressure on Finn’s opponent.”

In the end, only two seniors remained on the top courts. Both matches went into three sets displaying the determination of Lah and Soto.

“I think this was the longest played match I have ever played.” Lah said. “But I think one thing that kept me going was I didn’t want to lose to them … I felt I’m good enough today to beat this guy. Fortunate enough to come back.”

The seniors went out on their home courts with a bang. Lah took his match 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Soto sealed the deal for the Bears 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(4).

“It was so cool to see them out here battling and playing,” Woodson said. “It was really special because they kept going and going. I want them to win, but I also would love for this to just keep going for a few more minutes…to get more time with these guys. It’s good to see them finish it the way that they did. Really proud of those guys.”