By AnnaGrace Hale | Sports Writer
The Big 12 Championship trophy will once again call Waco its home as No. 4 Baylor men’s tennis (26-3) claimed a 4-2 victory over No. 1 Texas Christian University (23-4) in Fort Worth. The highly anticipated rematch between the Bears and the Horned Frogs did not disappoint with a weather delay, close matches, tiebreaks and ultimately Baylor’s 25th Big 12 title.
The Bears started the match with momentum, picking up the doubles point on courts one and two. No. 6 junior Finn Bass and senior Sven Lah snatched the first victory 6-3 against No. 2 Luc Fomba and Jake Fearnley. On court two, senior Matias Soto served a bullet over the net that couldn’t be handled by the TCU opponent, resulting in a victory for Soto and his partner junior Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi. The duo clinched the doubles point for the Bears with a score of 6-4.
Early on, Baylor looked as if they could take a quick win as they snagged two points on the bottom courts and went up 3-0. Grassi Mazzuchi secured the Bear’s first singles point on court six, 6-3, 6-1. No. 70 sophomore Tadeas Paroulek followed suit, delivering the second point in a 7-5, 6-1 match.
However, the Horned Frogs were determined. In a challenging competition, No. 3 junior Adrian Boitan took a loss on court one. TCU’s No. 18 Luc Fomba stole the match 6-4, 7-5.
With the score at 3-1, all eyes were on court four where No. 86 Jake Fearnley battled Bass who hoped to gain the remaining point for the green and gold. Bass’ attempts to pull ahead in the third set ultimately failed as Fearnley secured a victory for the Horned Frogs 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
The fate of the match rested in the hands of the two seniors. Left on court two, No. 77 Lah was in the middle of his third set and Soto was about to enter his final set when play was suspended due to weather conditions. The match was moved indoors, and after an hour delay the two matches resumed.
With six games each, Lah and No. 67 Sander Jong were caught in a close tiebreak, but ultimately their match was left unfinished due to Soto clinching the win for the Bears. No. 14 Juan Carlos Aguilar launched the ball beyond the baseline and out of bounds ending the match 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3 in favor of the green and gold.
The Baylor athletes dogpiled on top of Soto as the team celebrated Baylor’s third-straight Big 12 Championship title. The Bears now await the NCAA Tournament which begins on May 6.