Baylor edges No. 15 Men's Tennis, 4-3 in Big 12 finals
April 26, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -- Third-seeded Texas (19-5) picked up singles wins from sophomore Kellen Damico, junior Dimitar Kutrovsky and senior Jonah Kane-West, but top-seeded Baylor just managed to slip by the Longhorns, as the Bears posted a 4-3 win Sunday in the finals of the Big 12 Championship. The match marked the fourth consecutive meeting in the Big 12 finals between the two schools.
Baylor opened the match by claiming a tight doubles session to take a 1-0 lead. Baylor's Denes Lukacs and Maros Horny opened with an 8-3 win over Texas juniors Dimitar Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala at the second slot. Texas senior Miguel Reyes Varela and junior Olivier Sajous held a 7-2 lead at the third slot over BU's Dominik Mueller and Julian Bley before the Bears took the next four games to pull within 7-6. But, Texas' Reyes Varela and Sajous finished off the match, 8-6, leaving the outcome of the doubles session to be decided at the first slot.
Trailing 7-4 to Baylor's David Galic and Jordan Rux, Texas sophomores Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico broke the Bears' service and held serve in the following game to pull within 7-6. Baylor's Rux held serve in the next game to give the Bears an 8-6 win and the doubles point.
Damico put Texas on the board in short order with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Baylor's Mueller at third singles. The Bears regained the lead at fourth singles, where Julian Bley dealt UT's Sajous a 6-4, 6-3 defeat. Baylor pushed its lead to 3-1 at fifth singles, where Attila Bucko knocked off UT's Zavala, 7-6, 6-1.
At first singles, Texas' Kutrovsky took the first set off of Baylor's Lukacs, 6-4 and served at 6-5 in the second set. Lukacs broke Kutrovsky's serve to force a tiebreaker, but Kutrovsky seized control from there, winning the tiebreaker by a 7-1 count to cut the Baylor lead to 3-2.
At sixth singles, UT's Kane-West dropped his first set to Horny, 6-4, but forced a third set by taking the second, 6-3. Kane-West raced out to a 4-1 lead before Horny broke and held to draw within 4-3. Kane-West held serve for a 5-3 lead, and Horny followed suit to pull within 5-4. Kane-West held serve once more to win the match, 6-3 and even the match at three points.
Trailing 4-2 in the first set against Baylor's Rux, UT's Corrie rallied to win five of the next six games to take the set, 7-5. Rux would rally to take the second set, 6-4 to force the deciding third set.
Leading 3-2, Corrie broke Rux to take a 4-2 lead, but Rux broke back to pull within 4-3. Rux held serve to even the set at four and broke Corrie again to take a 5-4 lead. Corrie saved one match point, but at 40-30, a Rux return clipped the net and fell far from Corrie's reach, as Baylor finished off the set, 6-4 to win the match, 4-3.
ESPNEWS will air a NCAA Championships selection show on Tuesday, April 28 at approximately 4:20 p.m. Central. Texas is likely to be selected as a host of NCAA first- and second-round matches.
Baylor 4, Texas 3
On Jonah Kane-West’s victory: Jonah had a phenomenal effort today, and he had a great tournament. He gave a real spark to our team, not only by winning his matches, but his competitiveness and attitude were outstanding.
On the team’s performances at the Big 12 Championship: This weekend, we made some big strides as a team. We really played well overall. We’re disappointed we didn’t win today. But, we’re definitely playing our best tennis. We feel good about ourselves, and we’re looking forward to the NCAA Championships.