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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Bain’s gain

 
 

Led by Aggie sophomore Matt Bain’s deciding singles win over four and a half hours into the match, the No. 18 Texas A&M Tennis team pulled off a thrilling upset of the No. 4 Baylor Bears.
With the loss, Baylor fell from the undefeated ranks in conference play and was knocked out of a tie for first in the Big 12 with the No. 3 Texas Longhorns.
“We’ve had a great rivalry with A&M, and we’ve been fortunate to come out on top a little bit lately, and I think it was just kind of their turn,” Baylor head coach Matt Knoll said. “They had a great crowd and it came down to the end and they did a great job. Their guy out there just played really tough and unfortunately we came out on the short end of the stick.”
Baylor’s No. 1 doubles pair of Lars Poerschke and Michal Kokta, ranked No. 34 nationally, extended their winning streak to 11 and remained undefeated for the season. Baylor’s No. 2 doubles pair received its second loss of the season to Jerry Makowski and Matt Bain. Aggies Marcus Lunt and Conor Pollock were unable to take the No. 3 doubles contest, giving Baylor the point.
The three-set contest between Pollock and Baylor’s Will Ward became a microcosm of the entire match. Every point was vehemently contested and challenged. Tensions between the players leveled off after they were both warned by the umpire following a bump the players gave each other on a changeover midway through the second set. Pollock would end up winning on a double-fault by Ward, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
With the match tied 3-3, the outcome was left to Bain versus Baylor’s Matt Brown. With Brown fighting a hamstring injury and hobbling in between points, Bain outlasted his opponent to cap off the Aggie victory.
“Matt’s a young guy, and I think it’s something that he’s going to have to grow from,” Knoll said. “Both (Ward and Brown) are freshman, and we’re certainly asking a lot of them out there in those pressure situations. Unfortunately today, they didn’t handle themselves as well as they need to if we are going to be a good team.”
This is the first Aggie win against Baylor since 2001.
“We’ve had some really great matches, especially the last six years, and the last three or four years they’ve really had a handle on us,” A&M head coach Tim Cass said. “For a while now it’s been us and them for the Big 12 Championship quite often over the last seven or eight years. Sometimes we’ve won some, but over the last three or four years they’ve really handled us, so it was nice to stop that. I’m proud of the way we’ve done it. I’m proud of the guys. More than anything I’m happy for them. It’s a testament that hard work can pay off.”
The Aggies play No. 2 Pepperdine 6 p.m. Saturday at the Mitchell Tennis Center.

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