And they said Baylor couldn't compete in the Big 12 Conference. Think again. It has been a spring unlike any other in Baylor Athletics. On the last day of May, Baylor boasted one NCAA team, two NCAA individual and three Big 12 Conference championships, plus one team co-championship. Baylor athletic fans haven't been this giddy since the 1974 football season -- and that was a long time ago. Nick Joos, associate athletic director/media relations, dug through the record books and came up with these statistics. In 82 seasons of Southwest Conference competition, Baylor captured 29 team championships (26 regular-season, three tournaments). In its nine years in the Big 12 Conference, Baylor already has won 17 titles (12 regular-season and five tournament). Only six schools have won more Big 12 titles than Baylor, Joos said.
Women's singles: Zuzana Zemenova, NCAA champion
Before winning the individual title, ZZ led the Lady Bears to their second Big 12 title in school history; the team shared championship honors with Texas A&M in 2003. Baylor's 11-0 record also was the team's first undefeated conference season. They were runners-up to Texas in the conference tournament May 1 in Austin. As the regular season Big 12 champion, the Lady Bears were seeded 15th as they began play in the 2005 NCAA Division?I Women's Tennis Championships, the eighth time they had been invited to the 64-team tournament. The women's team rolled into the round of 16 for only the second time in school history before falling short of an upset of No. 2 Florida, 4-2, on May 19 in Athens, Ga.
Adding to the women's singles title, Benedikt Dorsch capped his Baylor career May 30 with a heart-stopping series against the University of San Diego's Pierrick Ysern to claim the men's singles title. Dorsch's title made Baylor only the second men's team in three decades to bring home back-to-back singles titles with different players; Benjamin Becker claimed the 2004 crown.
In a showdown match for the men's tennis NCAA Championship, the UCLA Bruins bested the Bears in a marathon match. The Bears fell a point short of defending their national title, losing to the UCLA Bruins 4-3 on May 24.
Dorsch ends his illustrious three-year career as a six-time All America, three-time Big 12 Player of the Year, two-time Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championships (2004, 2005), 2004 ITA Player of the Year and will undoubtedly duplicate the honor this season.
After missing out on the NCAA Baseball Tournament last season, the Bears roared back with a vengeance to claim a share of the Big 12 regular-season title with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Bears also were runners-up in the conference tournament, dropping a 1-0 pitchers' duel to the Huskers on May 29 in Oklahoma City, Okla. As postseason announcements were made, the NCAA quickly validated Baylor's championship season with a No. 4 national seed and a 12th NCAA regional appearance. Even better, the Bears were chosen to host a regional at the Baylor Ballpark for the third time in school history. Nine Bears were named to the Coaches' All-Big 12 baseball teams. Baylor leads all conference schools in Big 12 history in first-team Academic All-Big 12 selections (45) and is tied for second in all-time first-team All-Big 12 selections (24).
Darold Williamson, men's 400m and men's 4x400m relay team
Three other spring sports played their way into the NCAA postseason. Softball, with a record 51 wins, advanced to the super regionals but fell one game shy of a berth in the College World Series. Men's and women's golf teams competed in NCAA regional competition, the men making their eighth and the women their sixth consecutive appearance. -- Compiled from Athletic Media reports