WACO, Texas - After winning the conference title and claiming the No. 1 seed, the Baylor men's tennis team will travel to Norman, Okla., to compete in the Big 12 Championships, hosted by Oklahoma University at the Headington Family Tennis Center, April 25-28.
The Bears (19-4), currently ranked No. 13 in the latest ITA rankings, will face No. 35 and fourth-seeded TCU (18-8), which recorded a 4-2 victory over fifth-seeded Texas Tech to advance to the semifinals. The match vs. the Horned Frogs is scheduled for Saturday at noon and is a rematch of a contest that was played just six days earlier on April 21 in Waco. BU won that match 5-2.
The Bears claimed their 11th Big 12 regular season title in 2013, after completing their ninth undefeated season in the Big 12. BU is led by 30th-ranked Patrick Pradella in the No. 1 spot. Pradella produced an 18-4 record on the season, including six victories over ranked opponents.
BAYLOR IN BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY: The Bears have produced a 31-9 (.775) record overall in Big 12 Championships play. Baylor has been at the top of the championship podium three out of the last six years and also earned four straight titles from 2002-05.
LAST YEAR AT BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP: The Bears entered the 2012 Big 12 Championships in College Station, Texas as the No. 3 seed and topped sixth-seeded Oklahoma State, 4-0, and upset No. 2 seed Texas Tech, 4-3, to advance to the finals. The Bears run was ended by No. 1 seed Oklahoma 4-3 in the finals.
WHEN BEING THE NO. 1 SEED: This season marks the 10th season the Bears have had the honor of being the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championships. The Bears have advanced to the finals nine of those times, and have been crowned champions seven times. BU last earned the No. 1 seed in 2011, but fell to fifth-seeded Oklahoma in the semifinal round.
TEAM STREAKS & TRENDS: The Bears are currently riding a nine match win streak heading into the conference championship including a perfect 5-0 record in conference play. All four Baylor losses came against top-25 teams this season with three losses against top-five opponents including top ranked Virginia and second ranked UCLA.
SINGLES STREAKS & TRENDS: Sophomore Tony Lupieri currently holds the longest active win streak for the Bears after winning his last nine matches. Lupieri has played predominantly in the No. 4 position for the Bears where he has recorded an 8-1 season record.
THE ALL-IMPORTANT DOUBLES POINT: The Bears have again been dominant in winning doubles points. The Bears only lost four doubles point during regular- season play and recorded a 2-2 record when doing so. The Bears won 18 doubles points this season including 10 sweeps of doubles matches. During conference play, the Bears did not lose a doubles point, and only lost three doubles matches.
LOOKING AHEAD: A Baylor victory over TCU will advance the Bears to the finals for the 11th time in the last 15 years. Of their 10 previous appearances in finals, Baylor has won the crown seven times with their last Championship victory coming in 2009.
RANKED BEARS: Baylor currently has five singles competitors ranked with Patrick Pradella, Julian Lenz, Mate Zsiga, Marko Krickovic and Tony Lupieri, ranked 30, 51, 72, 77 and 90, respectively.
SCOUTING TCU: TCU enters the Big 12 Championships ranked No. 35 in the latest ITA poll. The Horned Frogs are playing in their first Big 12 Championship. TCU posted a 18-8 overall record and a 2-3 mark in conference play. The Frogs are led by No. 94 Nick Chappell and No. 122 Felipe Soares.
SERIES HISTORY: TCU leads 31-20 in the overall series with Baylor, despite the Bears going 15-5 against the Horned Frogs in the Matt Knoll era. Baylor has claimed wins in the last 12 meetings between the two teams and has not lost to TCU since the 2001 season.
Follow @BaylorMTennis on Twitter for updates on the team all season.