WACO, Texas – With a trip to the NCAA Round of 16 on the line, the No. 35-ranked Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell short of an upset bid with a 4-0 loss to fourth-ranked Baylor in second-round action Saturday night at the Baylor Tennis Center.
The Aggies (15-12) and Bears (26-3) got down to business and started off doubles play trading points. A&M’s top doubles combination of senior Bryan Wooten (Houston, Texas) and freshman Luka Ocvirk (Ljubljana, Slovenia) kept things tight against No. 60-ranked Lars Poerschke and Michal Kokta as did junior Matt Bain (Georgetown, Texas) and sophomore Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas) at the No. 2 line. Poerschke and Kokta came out on top with an 8-5 victory, while Bain and Pollock were edged 8-6 by Baylor’s Matija Zgaga and Denes Lukacs.
With the doubles point in hand, Baylor went on to capture five of the six first sets in singles competition. Pollock was the only Aggie to hold off a BU player with a 6-4 first-set win over No. 19-ranked Kokta at the No. 2 line. Junior All-American Jerry Makowski (Bradenton, Fla.) also produced a late rally after losing his first set to No. 11-ranked Poerschke, but the match was already decided. A&M had lost at the No. 3, 4 and 6 lines. It was the first shutout by an opponent this season for the Aggies.
“Give credit to Baylor because they played really well today,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “We went into the match with the mentality of having nothing to lose. We knew we could go out and compete hard and make it a close match, but Baylor was just too good. The doubles did not come through for us and we got behind early in singles. Some of our guys were still in it and battling, but we ran out of time to prolong the match.
“Obviously, we knew we were playing in one of the toughest regions in the country, because Baylor plays well at home. Right now, they are one player better than us, but I am excited about the prospects of next year. We have our top five guys back and have some good young players that are going to help us.”
A&M fell short of making its seventh Round of 16 appearance in the last eight years, while Baylor advanced to its sixth-straight and will compete in next week’s NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships to be held on May 17-22 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
(4) BAYLOR 4, (35) TEXAS A&M 0
May 12, 2007
Baylor Tennis Center
at Waco, Texas
No. 1 (65) Jerry Makowski (Texas A&M) vs. (11) Lars Poerschke (Baylor), 1-6, 5-5 (DNF).
No. 2 (68) Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) vs. (19) Michal Kokta (Baylor), 6-4, 3-6 (DNF).
No. 3 Matt Brown (Baylor) def. Luka Ocvirk (Texas A&M), 6-2, 6-2.
No. 4 (120) Matija Zgaga (Baylor) def. Brad Williams (Texas A&M), 6-2, 7-5.
No. 5 Matt Bain (Texas A&M) vs. (113) Dominik Mueller (Baylor), 6-7 (3), 0-2 (DNF).
No. 6 Denes Lukacs (Baylor) def. John Nallon (Texas A&M), 6-1, 6-3.
No. 1 (60) Poerschke-Kokta (Baylor) def. Bryan Wooten-Luka Ocvirk (Texas A&M), 8-5.
No. 2 Zgaga-Lukacs (Baylor) def. Bain-Pollock (Texas A&M), 8-6.
No. 3 Brett Joelson-Williams (Texas A&M) vs. David Galic-Brown (Baylor), 4-5 (DNF).
ORDER OF FINISH
Doubles: 1, 2
Singles: 3, 6, 4*