Baylor men’s tennis wins Big 12 title, will host NCAA regional in Boland’s first year
For some teams, the first year under a new head coach means a rebuilding year with an eye towards eventually reaching past heights.
That’s not the case for Baylor men’s tennis.
In its first year under new head coach Brian Boland, the Bears have continued an era of dominance that now includes 13 regular season Big 12 titles, nine tournament championships, and 22 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. On the heels of a stellar regular season and Big 12 tournament championship, the Bears earned the No. 6 national seed and will be hosting first and second round matches in this year’s NCAA tournament.
The Bears are well prepared to face the best, because they’ve been doing it all season. Their difficult regular season schedule featured 12 matches against top-25 teams, with an 8-4 record in those contests. That includes a win over No. 2-ranked Texas in the Big 12 tournament finals earlier this month in Kansas.
Baylor boasts the No. 1 doubles team in the nation (senior Jimmy Bendeck and sophomore Sven Lah), and Baylor’s top four singles players are all ranked nationally, with senior Johannes Schretter leading the way at No. 25 in the country.
For Boland, a four-time national champion and two-time national coach of the year at Virginia, it’s a return to the postseason after a year away from coaching. When he came to Baylor last summer, he cast his vision for the program: “We’re going to do things the right way and win championships and have fun doing it.”
With a Big 12 title and five Academic All-Big 12 first-team selections in his first year, those aspirations are already being demonstrated. Now, the team turns their focus to the tournament as the top-seed in the Waco Regional, welcoming Michigan, Dartmouth and Utah as seeds 2-4, respectively. Baylor will open against Utah Friday evening at 6 p.m.
Sic ’em, Baylor men’s tennis!