Tennis

Cowboys Beat Baylor, Sweep Weekend

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STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s men’s tennis squad defeated Baylor for the first time since 2008 with a 4-2 victory over the Bears on Sunday at the Greenwood Tennis Center.

The Cowboys have now won two consecutive Big 12 matches to put themselves at 2-2 in conference play and 18-5 overall. Also, the win marks the first time since 2009 that the Pokes have won multiple conference matches in a season.

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Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics

“I thought we picked up right where we left off against Texas Tech,” coach Jay Udwadia said. “To take advantage of playing at home and playing in front of a home crowd on a great day like this – I couldn’t be much happier.”    

All-American’s Arjun Kadhe/Julian Cash got the Cowboys started in doubles action with a dominant showing on court one against Baylor’s No. 85 Tommy Podvinski/Max Tchoutakian. The No. 5-ranked duo won five of the first six games before winning the match, 6-2.

Poke Lukas Finzelberg returned to action in doubles with partner Tristan Meraut for the first time since the ITA Central Regional back in October. The sophomore tandem exchanged games with Julian Lenz/Tyler Stayer for most of the match, but the Bears would pull away and take the match on court three, 6-4.

With OSU and Baylor (14-11; 1-3 Big 12) splitting the first two decisions, court two would decide the doubles point. Cowboys Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza faced off against Baylor’s Felipe Rios/Jimmy Bendeck in what would be an amazing match. The Bears denied the Pokes’ first opportunity to clinch the point by tying the match at five, but Gerch/Mendoza went on to win the final two games in the set to give OSU a 1-0 advantage.

“Baylor is a very tricky team because they are very good in doubles and have some good spots in their singles lineup,” coach Udwadia said. “Getting that first point gave us a tremendous advantage and a nice mental edge heading into singles.”

Fresh off clinching the victory over No. 10 Texas Tech on Friday, Mendoza rode that momentum into his match on court six against Tyler Stayer. The sophomore, ranked No. 125, only surrendered two games in two sets as he went on to defeat Stayer, 6-1, 6-1, extending the Cowboy lead to 2-0.

Baylor got on the board with a victory on court two as No. 85 Tchoutakian beat OSU’s Kadhe, 6-3, 6-2, to cut the Pokes lead to 2-1.

On court one, Baylor’s No. 17 Lenz tied the match at two with a straight-set victory, but OSU’s Finzelberg put a stop to the rally shortly with a straight-set win on court six over Podvinski, 6-4, 6-1, to propel the Cowboys back on top with two matches remaining.

“We’ve been making sure he’s (Lukas Finzelberg) injury-free and trying to be smart and take our time,” coach Udwadia said. “It worked out great tonight and we were fortunate to have a full lineup.”

After dropping the first set to Bendeck on court four, Meraut battled back to win an unbelievable second-set tiebreak, 9-7, forcing his match to a third set. In the third, the Paris native looked unstoppable on the court as he didn’t give up a game in the set, winning it, 6-0, and giving the Cowboys the 4-2 victory over No. 37 Baylor.

The match was played in front a packed crowd inside the Greenwood Tennis Center as College MatchDay made its return to Stillwater and televised the match on Fox Sports 2.

“It was amazing,” coach Udwadia said. “Having College MatchDay was such an honor because I think there are only five matches they go to, so we wanted to maximize that opportunity by having our fans out there and showing people the excitement of college tennis.”

The Pokes will conclude the regular season with Bedlam as No. 8 Oklahoma heads to Stillwater for a showdown with the Cowboys at noon on Saturday at the Greenwood Tennis Center.

For more information and updates on the Cowboys, follow @CowboyTennis on Instagram and Twitter.

No. 14 Oklahoma State def. No. 37 Baylor, 4-1

April 17, 2016 | Greenwood Tennis Center | Stillwater, Oklahoma

Doubles | Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2

C1: #5 Julian Cash/Arjun Kadhe (OSU) def. #82 Tommy Podvinski/Max Tchoutakian (BU) 6-2

C2: Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza (OSU) def. Felipe Rios/Jimmy Bendeck (BU) 7-5

C3: Julian Lenz/Tyler Stayer (BU) def. Lukas Finzelberg/Tristan Meraut (OSU) 6-4

Singles | Order of Finish: 6, 2, 1, 5, 4

C1: #17 Julian Lenz (BU) def. #59 Julian Cash (OSU) 6-3, 6-3

C2: #85 Max Tchoutakian (BU) def. #119 Arjun Kadhe (OSU) 6-3, 6-2

C3: Lucas Gerch (OSU) vs. Felipe Rios (BU) 6-4, 4-6, 5-5, unfinished

C4: Tristan Meraut (OSU) def. Jimmy Bendeck (BU) 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-0

C5: Lukas Finzelberg (OSU) def. Tommy Podvinski (BU) 6-4, 6-1

C6: #125 Jurence Mendoza (OSU) def. Tyler Stayer (BU) 6-1, 6-1