LOS ANGELES–The 12th-ranked Baylor men's tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 5 USC Sunday at the Marks Tennis Center.
Baylor, which has now lost back-to-back matches, got off to a fast start claiming the doubles point with wins on courts two and three. The Baylor duo of Diego Galeano and Tony Lupieri secured the first victory for the Bears on court two by a score of 8-1. USC answered back on court one with an 8-7(4) victory forcing the doubles point to be decided on court three where Julian Lenz and Michel Dornbusch outlasted Roberto Quiroz and Rob Bellamy to record an 8-6 victory and give BU a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
On the singles side, Tony Lupieri gave Baylor a 2-0 advantage in the match with a 6-1, 6-1 upset victory over No. 43 Jonny Wang at the No. 5 spot. Unfortunately, the Trojans would go on to sweep the remaining five matches.
No. 80 Roberto Quiroz claimed the first point for USC with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Mate Zsiga at the No. 3 position. Max de Vroom recorded an upset victory of No. 18 Galeano 6-3, 6-3 on court 4 to even the match at 2-2, before Eric Johnson got past No.110 Dornbusch 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to give the Trojans a 3-2 advantage with two matches still on court.
The Trojans clinched the match winning point on court one in a contest featuring both players tied for sixth in the ITA polls. After winning the first set 6-4, Lenz was unable to capitalize and fell by a final score of 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-0. In the final match on court, No. 10Yannik Hanfmann defeated No. 13 Patrick Pradella 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-4 to bring the final score of the match to 5-2.
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· Julian Lenz had his eight match win streak snapped and is now 8-1 in dual-match play.
· Baylor avenged a doubles point loss to the Trojans from the team's last meeting on Feb. 15, in the ITA Indoor Championships.
· Today's match is the second of five consecutive matches for the Bears against teams ranked in the top 10
STAT OF THE DAY
Tony Lupieri and Julian Lenz lead the team with identical 8-1 singles records this season.
TOP QUOTE #1
"It was a great opportunity for us. We felt like we got off to a pretty good start, we won the doubles and won four first sets, but we just weren't able to close out the match like we needed to. We left some opportunities on the table. Give credit to USC they fought hard when they were up against the wall. I thought we made some good steps from the last match. I feel like we are heading in the right direction and we are really excited about the rest of this trip." Head coach Matt Knoll on the match
TOP QUOTE #2
"We think UCLA is really good. Their team is super tough from top to bottom and they are extremely well coached. It is in a super tough place to win. It is a reflection of our philosophy of trying to play the best teams and we feel like UCLA is one of the best. They beat Virginia the other day in a really close match and we know they are playing some great tennis and that we are going to have to really lift it up to give us a chance to win." Knoll on facing third-ranked UCLA in two days
Baylor will be back in action on Wednesday as the Bears face another road match against a top 10 opponent in No. 3 UCLA. Baylor currently holds a 7-5 advantage against the Bruins in the all-time series. The last meeting between the teams was during the 2013 season and saw the Bruins defeat Baylor in Waco by a score of 6-1.