Bears Tennis Set To Host No. 2 UCLA, No. 1 Virginia
WACO, Texas - To complete the most difficult part of its schedule, the 38th-ranked Baylor men's tennis team (10-1), will host No. 2 UCLA on Sunday at noon and then top-ranked Virginia at 3 p.m. on Monday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
"I think these teams are the two best teams in the country," head coach Matt Knoll said. "It is going to be a huge challenge for us to bounce back and play another match. We have a ton of respect for UCLA and that is all we are thinking about right now. They beat the tar out of us last year, so we are going to have to step it up."
Currently riding an eight-match win streak, the Bears welcome the Bruins after pulling off a 6-1 upset of No. 5 Kentucky on Friday. BU enters the match with four singles players ranked in the latest ITA rankings. Julian Lenz, Marko Krickovic, Mate Zsiga, and Patrick Pradella are ranked No. 43, 77, 78, and 122 respectively. The Bears also have one doubles team of Julian Lenz and Patrick Pradella ranked at No. 53.
UCLA is coming off a 6-1 win against Hawai'i, which raised its record to 12-1. The Bruins also have four ranked singles competitors. Marcos Giron, Adrien Puget, Dennis Novikov, and Dennis Mkrtchian are ranked No. 10, 20, 35, and 54 respectively. UCLA's doubles pair of Dennis Novikov and Marcos Giron is also ranked No. 54.
Baylor leads the overall series with the Bruins 7-4, but fell to the team last year in Los Angeles, 6-1.
Following the UCLA match, Baylor welcomes the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers. UVA owns a perfect 7-0 record, including a 6-1 victory over last year's Big 12 champion, Oklahoma, in its last match.
The Cavaliers bring four ranked doubles teams into the match as well as six ranked singles competitors including No. 1 Alex Domijan, No. 3 Jarmere Jenkins, and No. 8 Marc Styslinger.
Virginia leads in the overall series with the Bears 5-3. In the last meeting between the two squads, the Cavaliers picked up a 6-1 win on March 12, 2011 in Waco.
In Matt Knoll's 16+-seasons in Waco, Baylor is 1-6 vs. No. 1 ranked teams and 46-49 against teams ranked in the top-10.