Tech Begins Homestand Against No. 7 Baylor Tuesday|
April 13, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas - The 35th-ranked Texas Tech men's tennis team begins a three-match homestand to close the regular season on Tues., April 14, as the Red Raiders face No. 7 Baylor at 6 p.m., at the McLeod Tennis Center.
The match is the first of three for the Red Raiders as they also play host to No. 31 Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Friday (April 17) and No. 34 Oklahoma at 1 p.m. Sunday (April 19).
Tuesday's match, however, has Big 12 implications as the Bears (19-5; 4-0) would clinch at least a share of their eighth-consecutive conference regular-season title with a win. The Red Raiders (12-8; 1-2), on the other hand, would inch closer up the Big 12 standings and booster its NCAA Championship resume with a quality win.
Tech picked up its first conference win on Sunday, downing No. 55 Nebraska, 5-2, in Lincoln. In the match, the Red Raiders played maybe its best in singles of the season, picking up four wins and the doubles point without lineup regular Gonzalo Escobar.
The Bears have had Tech's number in years past, winning the previous 13 meetings with the Red Raiders last victory coming in 1996. Baylor has struggled on the road this season, however, going 4-4, while Tech is currently riding an 11-match win streak at the McLeod Tennis Center. Tech's last home loss was a 4-3 loss on April 20, 2007, to Oklahoma.
Baylor sports one of the toughest lineups in the nation with two players - Denes Lukacs (No. 7) and Jordan Rux (No. 44) - ranked in the top 50 in singles, while Rux and David Galic combine for the No. 74 doubles tandem in the nation. The Bears have started matches well in conference play, winning the doubles point in all four matches. Baylor enters the weekend having won 13 of its last 15 matches and is 13-5 against ranked opponents this season.
The Red Raiders will look to counter with strong performances at the top of its lineup as 58th-ranked Raony Carvalho and Sinisa Markovic combine for a 25-11 duals record this spring, while the 12th-ranked duo of Carvalho and Christian Rojmar are 12-5 in doubles. Tech has won the doubles point in seven of its last eight matches, but has struggled against top 25 teams this spring, going 1-5 in those matches with its lone victory coming March 21 against then No. 25 Oklahoma State in a non-conference match at the Blue Gray Tennis Classic.
Following this week's matches, Tech travels to Norman, Okla., for the Big 12 Championships, held April 23-26 at the Headington Family Tennis Center.