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Spring success caps record year

July 5, 2012

Spring success caps record year

For the first time in school history, all 19 of Baylor's varsity sports reached the postseason in 2011-12. Baylor became just the third team in the history of the Big 12 Conference to accomplish the feat, joining Texas (2002-03) and Texas A&M (2009-10).

The Year of the Bear began with soccer and volleyball earning NCAA tournament bids last fall, continued with Baylor football's bowl victory in December, and kept right on rolling through the spring.

You can read about BU baseball, men's and women's basketball and equestrian elsewhere in this issue; below are brief recaps of the rest of Baylor's spring sports for 2012.

Even with a lineup featuring freshmen at three of the six starting spots, head coach Matt Knoll's men's tennis squad advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 11th year in a row and finished the year ranked 18th in the nation. Mate Zsiga was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and an ITA All-American after compiling a 36-9 record, the second-most wins by a freshman in program history.

Head coach Joey Scrivano's women's tennis team extended their own streak, reaching the Round of 16 for the eighth straight season. The Lady Bears finished the year at No. 13 in the country. Senior Nina Secerbegovic earned her third straight All-America singles honor by reaching the Round of 16 in the NCAA Individual Championships. Secerbegovic and freshman Ema Burgic also earned All-America doubles recognition after teaming to reach the NCAA quarterfinals in doubles.

Head coach Glenn Moore's softball team was ranked ninth in the nation when all-American ace pitcher Whitney Canion was lost to a season-ending knee injury in February, but the Lady Bears hung tough and still earned their seventh NCAA tournament selection in nine years.

Baylor track and field earned eight all-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March and added four more at June's NCAA Outdoor Championships. The men's 4x400-relay team placed 7th at the NCAA Indoors, but failed to qualify for the outdoor finals for the first time since 1979. Sophomore Blake Heriot was the Bears' lone two-time all-American in 2012, running as part of the 4x400-meter team at the NCAA Indoors and on the 4x100 relay that placed fifth at the NCAA Outdoors.

The Baylor men's golf program, led by head coach Greg Priest, made its 15th consecutive NCAA Regional trip, the longest active streak of any BU team sport. Senior Joakim Mikkelsen won the Big 12 Championship individual title in April by two strokes, the first Bear to win since 2001, and was the program's first All-American since 2006.

In his first season at the helm, Baylor women's golf coach Jay Goble led the Lady Bears to a program-best 16th-place finish at the NCAA national championship. Baylor was making just its second NCAA Championship appearance after earning regional selections in 11 of the last 12 years. Freshman Hayley Davis set a single-season program record for scoring average and became the first All-American in Lady Bear history.

Another first-year head coach, LaPrise Harris-Williams, helped the Baylor acrobatics and tumbling squad reach the semifinals of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association National Championships before falling to eventual national champion Oregon.

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