No. 12 Baylor men’s tennis readies for ITA Kickoff Weekend in Waco

Sophomore Marko Miladinović pushes toward the ball during a singles match. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Foster Nicholas | Sports Writer

Coming off a hard fought 4-0 loss to No. 1 University of Virginia, No. 12 Baylor men’s tennis is preparing for another tough test when it hosts the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Hurd Tennis Center.

Fifth-year senior Finn Bass said it felt like the chips didn’t fall the team’s way and that “eight, nine times out of ten we win that match.”

“But sometimes it can be a bit of a coin flip and that’s just how it goes,” Bass said. “You have to be ready to win those and sometimes you don’t get them.”

The Bears (3-1) get a chance to respond with a win this weekend after sitting with the loss all week. Bass, the No. 23 singles player in the nation, had the opportunity to reflect on becoming more of a leader.

“It’s my last season at Baylor, so I want to make it the most special one so far,” Bass said. “On a personal level, [I’m] just trying to take in every moment and enjoy it because I’m not going to get it back. But it’s always a super special feeling to be out there competing on the court because that’s why we practice and why we do what we do.”

Even though the match didn’t end in Baylor’s favor, Bass and head coach Michael Woodson both said it gave the team the inspiration to find ways to improve.

“When we lose, those are the best opportunities to really learn and implement some new things and push ourselves to try to get better,” Woodson said. “Our message has been, really take your time, review everything and see what steps we need to take to continue moving forward because our schedule’s not going to get any easier.”

On Friday, the green and gold will face off against Arizona State University at 6 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Center. Depending how Friday’s match ends, Baylor will compete against either No. 9 Florida State University or the University of San Diego on Saturday at either 2 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Woodson said he’s looking for his group to have a strong start in order to get back in the win column.

“We have the toughest region in the country with the top-10 team in Florida State being here,” Woodson said. “San Diego just beat Texas A&M [University], so they’re a really solid team, and Arizona State has maybe the best American player in the country on their team.

“So, it’s going to be really tough and I think that’s exactly what we’re looking for. We really welcome the challenge and we’re going to need all the support we can get. It’s going to be a fun weekend.”