ATHENS, Ga. -The sixth-ranked Baylor men's tennis (26-5) team swept No. 12 Illinois (24-9), 4-0, Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to earn a spot in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships.
BU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after securing the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. Baylor's pairing of Julian Lenz and Michel Dornbusch was first to finish, recording an impressive 8-3 win over Blake Bazarnik and Farris Gosea, at the No. 3 spot. Baylor then clinched the point with an 8-6 Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri victory on court two.
With the doubles point in hand, Baylor jumped all over the Illini in singles play. The Bears claimed five of six first sets and never looked to lose any of the momentum attained in doubles play.
Third-ranked Lenz was the first Baylor player off court in singles play after securing a 6-2, 6-2 win at the top of the lineup over eighth-ranked Jared Hiltzik to give the Bears a 2-0 lead in the match. After losing his first three games in the first set, No. 31 Diego Galeano roared back to claim the next five games to set up his 6-4, 6-3 win on court three over No. 63 Tim Kopinski.
Baylor clinched the match deciding point on court four where Dornbusch disposed of Blake Bazarnik 6-4, 6-4 to propel the Bears into the quarterfinal round of the Championships.
Keep up with the Bears all season long by following @BaylorMTennis on Twitter.
STAT OF THE DAY
0 - The number of points given up to the Illini in two meetings this season. Baylor also beat Illinois 4-0 on March 16, 2014.
· Baylor is now 48-15 all-time in NCAA Championship play
· Baylor is now 6-6 when playing postseason tennis in Athens, Ga.
· Baylor has won 18 of its last 19 matches, and has recorded a win in the last seven consecutive matches.
· Baylor picked up its 26th- doubles point of the year and has recorded a 25-1 record when winning doubles
· Baylor improved to 9-5 when playing teams ranked in the top-25.
· Lenz improved to 24-3 in dual-match play, and is now 16-6 against ranked opponents on the season
· Baylor advances to the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2011 and 10th time in school history
TOP QUOTE #1
"I thought it was a great day for us. I was proud of Tony. I didn't see any of that match, but he was in a tough spot and he stayed out there, and that helped a lot. Pat won a tight tiebreaker in the first, which was big for our momentum. Diego was down a break early, did a great job coming back. And, obviously, Julian really led us getting off first." - Head coach Matt Knoll on the match.
TOP QUOTE #2
"At this stage of the year, the less you play the better. We're not out here trying to get a lot of exercise. You just want to execute as best as you can, and we did. You saw how well-coached and how ferocious Illinois competes, the way their guys were digging in on every point and giving it everything they have. I was a little worried that when we won all those first sets that we would have a sense that the match was over. And the match wasn't close to over. We really had to do a good job of finishing, and we were able to do that." - Knoll on the importance of not playing an extended match.
Baylor will be back in action on Sunday to take on No. 4 Virginia in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships. The match is scheduled to be played at 11 a.m. CT. The Cavaliers are 26-2 on the season and have beaten the Bears in their last six meetings. Baylor dropped a 6-1 decision to Virginia earlier this year on March 1, indoors at the Boyd Tinsley Courts at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The Cavaliers won the only NCAA meeting between the two teams (a 4-2 victory in the 2008 quarterfinals in Tulsa, Okla.).