Baylor Athletics Press Release:
WACO, Texas – No. 3-ranked and second-seeded Baylor men’s tennis swept No. 2-ranked and top-seeded Texas 4-0 Monday afternoon at the Hurd Tennis Center to win the 2021 Big 12 Championship.
The Bears (29-4) dominated from start to finish, taking the opening doubles point and three straight-set singles victories. No. 41 Adrian Boitan was the clincher en route to being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer.
No. 12 Constantin Frantzen/Sven Lah notched the first BU win of the day with a 6-2 result over No. 8 Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab at No. 1 doubles. Finn Bass/Charlie Broom followed that up with a 6-4 victory against Micah Braswell/Payton Holden, 6-4 on court three, to clinch the opening tally.
As singles began, the Bears showed no signs of slowing down, taking five first-sets. No. 8 Matias Soto bounced back in triumphant fashion from a semifinal loss to defeat No. 39 Braswell on court two, 6-1, 6-3, to put the next point on the board for Baylor.
Broom pushed the Bears one step closer with a 6-3, 6-2 win on court five over Chih Chi Huang. It marked Broom’s third win of the season over Huang, as the two have met in each of the four meetings between the Bears and Longhorns this season.
Boitan finished the job on the top court with a 6-4, 6-4 dismantling of No. 21 Spizzirri. The win extended his singles streak to three in a row, all against top-25 opponents, and he has now won nine of his last 10 matches.
With the win, Boitan earned the second Big 12 MOP award of his career, becoming the first BU player in program history to garner the award twice. Only one other student-athlete has done so in the history of the Big 12 in TCU’s Cameron Norrie (2016-17).
The tournament title marks BU’s 10th all-time and second-consecutive, bringing the Bears’ total to 24 Big 12 overall crowns.
• Baylor won its 10th Big 12 postseason championship title and 24th overall.
• BU has won each of the last two Big 12 tournaments, previously defeating Texas in 2019.
• Baylor’s 29 wins are its most since 2005, when the team went 33-1 as the NCAA National Runner-Up.
• The Bears improved to 14-4 against ranked opponents this season, including a 13-4 mark against the top-25.
• BU is now 25-8 in the doubles point this year and own a 24-1 record in matches when winning the opening tally.
• Baylor boasts a combined 142-30 (.826) mark in singles action this spring and a collective 64-23 (.736) record in doubles.
• Adrian Boitan and Matias Soto each picked up their ninth wins of the year over ranked opponents.
• Boitan was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer after defeating both No. 12 Alastair Gray and No. 21 Eliot Spizzirri in straight sets on the weekend.
• Boitan became the first Bear in program history to be named the Big 12 Championship MOP twice in his career.
• Boitan is the second Big 12 player all-time to win MOP honors twice; TCU’s Cameron Norrie did so in 2016-17.
STAT OF THE MATCH
10 – Baylor won its 10th Big 12 postseason championship, second-consecutive, and 24th overall conference title.
Interim head coach Michael Woodson
On today’s match…
“I’m so proud of the guys. An amazing performance today. I think they have had very clear goals, especially at the beginning of the year. We’ve had a few setbacks throughout the season that have allowed us to continue to improve and remain hungry. Texas came in here a few weeks ago and beat us pretty good, and that was a good learning experience for us. It allowed our guys to have a heart-to-heart and see what they needed from each other and us whenever the chips were down. We’ve responded so well since then with two wins over TCU and now a win over Texas in a Big 12 Championship match. We didn’t want to share the Big 12 title. We wanted to stake a claim that we were the best team in the conference. Our guys certainly proved that today. It was an incredible performance up and down the lineup and the crowd was amazing as well. I am so proud of these guys.”
On Adrian Boitan’s performance…
“He was in the zone today. He learned so much over the first few matches in the conference schedule. He’s growing into the role of the number one player on the team and one of the elite players in college tennis. I love his attitude about it. It’s frustrating for him because he is so competitive and wants to win for himself and the team. But, the top position poses a lot of challenges. So many seasoned guys and a lot of top players. Even though he was 4-1 in conference play during the regular season, it wasn’t until the end of conference play that he figured out the right competitive edge to have. He figured out how to play in a way that wasn’t too complacent, but also wasn’t too feisty. He seems to be finding that he’s doing a fantastic job in practice and it’s paying off on the match court. He deserves all the accolades that he’s getting.
Third-year sophomore Adrian Boitan
On his clinching point…
“It was a tough moment at 5-3 when I missed the match point in the second set. I wanted to finish with a great shot, but it didn’t work. At 5-4, I was determined not to lose that game. I wasn’t thinking about anything. I just knew my gameplan and wanted to execute. I was not thinking during the match point. My mind is blank and I try to stay in the present.”
Graduate senior Charlie Broom
On winning the Big 12 Championship…
“I’ve won one conference championship before with Dartmouth, but it was a different feeling with the crowd today. Having come on to the team in the Fall, this has been really special. I knew Adi was going to close out his match at 40-15, there was no way he was going to give UT another chance. I was elated for my personal performance, but so happy for the team. I’m excited to carry on what we have started here and looking forward to NCAA’s.”
No. 3 Baylor (29-4) earned the Big 12’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will await its final postseason ranking to be announced on Monday, May 3 as part of the 2021 NCAA Selection Show.
For the latest news on the Baylor men’s tennis team all season long, follow their official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts: @BaylorMTennis.