The 15th-ranked Baylor Bears opened Big 12 Conference play with a 6-1 victory over 20th-ranked Texas A&M at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center at College Station on Wednesday evening.
The victory raised Baylor’s record to 15-7 while the Aggies dropped to 10-8 and 1-3 in league play.
Senior Lars Poerschke, returning to action after missing eight of the Bears last nine matches due to injury, clinched the match for Baylor. The two-time All-American, currently ranked No. 20, lost the first set to 15th-ranked Conor Pollock at No. 1, 4-6, but roared back to take the next two sets, 6-1, 6-2. With the victory, Poerschke raised his career Big 12 regular season singles record to 20-1. In fact, Poerschke’s lone Big 12 loss came last season to Pollock.
The Aggies got on the scoreboard first with a sweep of the doubles matches. The first tandem to finish was Mike Beatty and Wil Spencer with an 8-4 victory over Poerschke and Attila Bucko. Pollock and Austin Krajicek, ranked No. 48, upset Baylor’s 44th-ranked duo of David Galic and Denes Lukacs, 8-6. Matt Bain and Chris Chirico completed the sweep with an 8-7 (6) victory over Dominik Mueller and Jordan Rux.
After the Aggie doubles sweep, the Bears countered with a sweep of their own, taking all six singles matches. Mueller and Bucko made quick work of their opponents with two-set victories at courts four and six, respectively. Mueller, ranked No. 101 downed Chirico, 6-0, 6-1 while Bucko triumphed over Kayvon Karimi, 6-2, 6-1. Next off the court for the Bears was 10th-ranked Lukacs with a 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 90 Spencer. After Poerschke posted his match-clinching victory, Gwen Corches registered a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Bain at No. 5. Despite losing the first set, Galic ensured the Baylor sweep with a three-set win at No. 3 over Krajicek, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7).
“I was really disappointed with the way we played in doubles,” said head coach Matt Knoll. “I give A&M a lot of credit, I thought they came out with great energy and I felt like they were a little more ready to play than we were. They kind of hammered us in the doubles. We’ve been struggling all year. We can’t seem to find the right note with this team. For whatever reason, we found the right note finally. We’ve lost a lot of matches that were competitive, close matches. We haven’t been able to find a way to win the close ones. Today, we found a way to rise up from some adversity and play well.”
The Bears will face another stiff test on Wednesday, April 9 when they host the University of Texas at 6 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center.
#15 Baylor 6, #20 Texas A&M 1
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center – College Station, Texas
Order of finish: 4, 6, 2, 1*, 5, 3
1. #20 Lars Poerschke (BU) def. #15 Conor Pollock (TAMU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
2. #10 Denes Lukacs (BU) def. #90 Wil Spencer (TAMU) 6-4, 6-3
3. #104 David Galic (BU) def. Austin Krajicek (TAMU) 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7)
4. #101 Dominik Mueller (BU) def. Chris Chirco (TAMU) 6-0, 6-1
5. #101 Gwen Corches (BU) def. Matt Bain (TAMU) 6-4, 7-6 (4)
6. Attila Bucko (BU) def. Kayvon Karimi (TAMU) 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1. #48 Pollock/Krajicek (TAMU) def. #44 Galic/Lukacs (BU) 8-6
2. Mike Beatty/Spencer (TAMU) def. Poerschke/Bucko (BU) 8-4
3. Chirco/Bain (TAMU) def. Mueller/Jordan Rux (BU) 8-7 (5)
* clinched match