By AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Writer
No. 2-seed Baylor men’s tennis claimed a 4-2 victory over No. 3-seed University of Texas in the Bears’ first match-up of the Big 12 Championship on Saturday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth. This victory is Baylor’s third of the season over Texas with previous wins of 6-1 and 6-0.
Doubles presented some challenges for the Bears, but nothing the team could not overcome. Court two finished first as No. 17 Longhorn pairing Eliot Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab defeated No. 15 Bear duo senior Matias Soto and junior Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi, 6-3. To respond, Baylor’s No. 6 doubles senior Sven Lah and junior Finn Bass claimed a 6-2 win over Texas’ No. 3 pair Richard Ciamarra and Cleeve Harper.
To determine the point, junior Adrian Boitan and sophomore Tadeas Paroulek were caught in a heated matchup against Chih Chi Haung and Eshan Talluri. Tied with six games each, the pairs entered a tiebreak. Baylor prevailed, clinching a 7-6(7) victory and putting the green and gold up 1-0.
The doubles loss seemed to motivate Texas as they quickly pulled ahead by snatching the first two singles points. On court six, Mazzuchi fell 3-6, 4-6 and on court two, Soto was defeated 7-5, 6-1.
However, after Bass secured the next victory in two tiebreak sets with a score of 7-6(4), 7-6(5), the Bears seemed to gain some momentum.
The score was tied at 2-2 as the remaining matches on courts one, three and five went into set three. No. 77 Lah claimed another point for Baylor winning on court three 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4.
The green and gold only needed one more point to move onto the Big 12 Championship finals, and Paroulek delivered. In three sets he clinched the victory for Baylor with a match score of 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
Baylor looks to win back-to-back Big 12 Championship titles as they meet No. 1-seed Texas Christian University in the championship match. The Bears and Horned Frogs will meet on the courts at the conclusion of the women’s championship match – but not before 1:30 p.m. – on Sunday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth.