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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


No. 13 Arizona men’s tennis advances to ITA National Indoor Championships, making program history by defeating No. 24 Baylor

Amelia McAnear

Eric Padgham and Gustaf Strom chest bump in celebration at a doubles match Pepperdine University on Feb. 3 at the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center. The Wildcats went on to win the match 6-1. 

The No. 13 Arizona men’s tennis team back at LaNelle Robson Tennis Center on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m. defeated No. 24 Baylor University 4-2 to move on to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Indoor Championships in New York City for the first time in the program’s history.

Arizona seized control from the outset, claiming the first 2 points of the match in both doubles and ultimately moving into the No. 2 singles spot. However, demonstrating their resilience, the Bears fought back, notching consecutive points and fiercely contesting each third set across four courts.

The Wildcats secured the first doubles victory of the day at court two, where Herman Hoeyeraal and Gustaf Strom outplayed Martin Breysach and Oskar Brostrom Poulsen with a score of 6-4. Undeterred, the Bears responded with Devin Badenhorst and Luc Koenig securing a 6-4 win over Nick Lagaev and Alexander Rozin.

Arizona clinched the crucial doubles point with a victory at court one, as the No.11 ranked Colton Smith and Jay Friend defeated Tadeas Paroulek and Zsombor Velcz with a score of 6-4.

The momentum carried into singles play, with the No.34 ranked Friend delivering the first singles victory for Arizona. He secured the second point with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Velcz. Baylor responded strongly as Poulsen won a hard-fought battle against Hoeyeraal, securing a 7-6, 6-2 victory.

Badenhorst continued Baylor’s comeback by defeating the senior, No. 63 Strom, with a quick third set, closing the match at 6-4, 0-6, 6-2.

The drama unfolded on court one as Paroulek, after claiming a 6-4 first-set win, faced a tough challenge from the No. 5 ranked player in the nation, Smith. Despite Paroulek’s push, Smith came back to take sets two and three with scores of 6-3 and 6-4, ultimately clinching the match for the Wildcats.

The battle continued on other courts, with Lagaev withstanding Koenig’s comeback attempt. Koenig fought hard, but Lagaev secured the match with a final score of 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

Looking ahead:

Up next, Arizona heads to California to face the University of San Diego on Friday, Feb. 2 at noon, and in a quick-turnaround will go up against Pepperdine University on Sunday, Feb. 4 at noon.

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