The Texas men’s tennis team lost the doubles point but won four singles matches to beat Baylor 4-2 Sunday in the finals of the Big 12 Championships at the Texas Tennis Center.
It was the Longhorns’ fifth Big 12 tournament title and their first since they last hosted the event in 2010.
“It means a lot to the guys,” UT coach Michael Center said. “They wanted a ring this year, and they earned it. I’m happy for them. It’s hard to win this conference.”
Texas’ All-America sophomore Yuya Ito was named the most outstanding player. He beat Matias Soto 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles to tie the match after the doubles defeat.
UT’s Christian Sigsgaard lost at No. 1 singles to Johannes Schretter 7-5, 6-3, but the Longhorns didn’t drop another contest. Reeling off victories were Harrison Scott, 6-3, 6-4 over Will Little; Leonardo Telles, 6-3, 6-4 over Sven Lah; and Rodrigo Banzer, 6-4, 7-6 (4) over Roy Smith.
“We talked all the time about how you’ve got to play nine competitive spots,” Center said of rallying after losing the doubles point. “We knew if we won or lost that point, we still had to get it done in the singles.
“I really challenged them. Could we get six first sets on the board, and who could get a point on the board? Let’s turn the momentum of this match. We got four and had a chance at six, but we really did change the momentum of the match. We started putting pressure on them from then on out.”
Texas is expected to host first- and second-round NCAA Championship matches beginning May 11. The tournament field will be revealed Tuesday.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.