No. 14 Baylor men’s tennis to host No. 1 Ohio State in midweek bout

Ohio State's trip to Waco marks the third visiting No. 1 team in the last 10 seasons. Lilly Yablon | Photographer

By Daniel Taylor | Reporter

No. 14 Baylor men’s tennis has a rare opportunity on Wednesday.

It welcomes No. 1 Ohio State for a 6 p.m. contest at the Hurd Tennis Center, and head coach Michael Woodson said the team embraces the challenge.

“I don’t personally feel any pressure,” Woodson said. “In the position that our team is in, I think they’re excited to measure up against the current best team in the country.”

The Bears (12-1) currently have a 3-14 record all-time when facing No. 1-ranked teams, and they trail Ohio State 7-1 in the all-time series. The Buckeyes (14-0) are also currently the only undefeated team in the ITA’s Top-25 rankings.

Baylor is currently boasting a perfect home record, having won all eight to open the spring season.

After hard-fought victories over SMU and UTRGV on Sunday, Woodson said he hopes the team will carry over some of the key strengths from those matches, such as grit, strong fitness and the ability to handle tough situations.

“Our best tennis was right when we needed it the most,” Woodson said.

Woodson added that he’s excited the Bears get to play the Buckeyes in Waco. He said even just a few fans can make a huge impact on the game. To him, the crowd can bring so much energy and excitement, and seeing his guys perform for the fans is what he’s most excited to experience.

“I think that’s one of the most fun parts about being at Baylor with how well we draw support and how strong the home-court advantage is,” Woodson said.

Junior Oskar Brostrom Poulsen also said he doesn’t feel pressure for Wednesday’s match, as he focuses on playing to the best of his ability. Brostrom Poulsen said his preparation isn’t affected much outside of just knowing what the weather is like and what time his match starts.

“Preparation is more like we want to play outside under the lights, so we prepare to play at night,” Brostrom Poulsen said. “But at the end of the day, we prepare the same way for whoever we play, because that’s just who we are.”

After a singles win and two doubles wins on Sunday, the main thing Brostrom Poulsen said he wants to carry into the matchup with OSU is confidence and momentum. He said he enjoyed the hard-fought aspect of the matches versus SMU and UTRGV because he saw it as a chance to fight through adversity.

Following a doubles match win, Brostrom Poulsen said it’s important to carry the momentum into singles play, but in a doubles loss, he personally hits a reset to focus on his singles performance.

“The doubles is a key point to get; it sets the momentum for the whole match pretty much,” Brostrom Poulsen said. “At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that doubles is doubles and singles is singles, so it’s all about either keeping the momentum going or resetting the momentum.”

Brostrom Poulsen, a transfer from Middle Tennessee State, added that the biggest difference between programs was the professionalism, calling Baylor’s magnificent.

“It’s way better than what I was used to, and everything around the team is so much better, and at the same time the fan base here is unbelievable,” Brostrom Poulsen said. “The support we get for the matches is fantastic, and I think that helps us a lot to be better.”

Both Woodson and Brostrom Poulsen said they’re excited about the opportunity to take down a No. 1 team in Waco. They both added that they want to perform well in front of what they hope is a strong crowd.