5 Things You Should Know About Baylor TennisJune 16, 2010
Head coaches Matt Knoll (men) and Joey Scrivano (women) have elevated Baylor tennis into one of the elite programs in the nation. This spring, the Lady Bears won the Big 12 Conference regular season and tournament for the fifth straight year and were the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, while the men finished the season ranked among the top 10 in the nation for the ninth year in a row. Both teams advanced to the Elite Eight, but that's just the beginning of what you should know about Baylor tennis.
- Baylor owns the only four national championships in Big 12 tennis history. In 2004, the men won BU's first-ever national title; Benjamin Becker won the NCAA singles championship that same year. Twelve months later, Benedikt Dorsch gave the men back-to-back individual titles while Zuzana Zemenova brought home the women's singles title to Waco.
- No sport in Big 12 history has been so dominated by a single school on both the men's and women's sides as tennis. The Baylor men have won nine Big 12 regular season titles, while the women have won seven, including the last six in a row. Combined, that's 16 regular season titles; the next closest combination is Kansas men's and women's basketball, with 11 total titles (and the men have a lopsided 10 of those).
- Deep NCAA tournament runs are to be expected. The men have reached at least the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships in each of the last nine years, including four Final Four appearances. The women have an active streak of six straight Sweet 16s.
- No other Big 12 school has racked up the individual hardware like Baylor. The men have had five Big 12 Players of the Year and six Coaches of the Year, while the women have earned five Big 12 Player of the Year awards and four Coach of the Year honors; each of those totals is tops in league history.
- You can follow Bears in professional tennis, too. Three of Knoll's pupils -- Becker, Dorsch and Lars Poerschke -- have enjoyed recent success on the ATP tour. Becker made an initial splash at the 2006 U.S. Open when he defeated Andre Agassi in the last match of Agassi's career. Since then, Becker has ranked as high as 38th in the world; as of June 1, he was ranked 53rd.