Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baylor Tops Wake Forest 4-1; Ohio State Rolls Past Boise State 4-0

©Colette Lewis 2009--
College Station, TX--

The pace couldn't continue as it had earlier in the day at the NCAA Men's Sweet 16. After two 4-3 decisions and two 4-2 decisions early, the third pair of matches went quickly for the favorites. No. 6 Baylor downed No. 18 Wake Forest 4-1, with the loss of the doubles point stinging the most for coach Jeff Zinn. Baylor's Dominik Mueller defeated David Hopkins 7-6(4), 6-2 at No. 4 singles to clinch the math for the Bears.

Baylor coach Matt Knoll was happy to have won, but when asked about the upcoming match against Ohio State, who pummeled No. 25 Boise State 4-0, Knoll was well aware the Buckeyes were looming. Knoll called Ohio State the best team in the tournament, and reminded the assembled reporters that the Buckeyes had beaten the Bears 7-0 in Columbus in early March.

Ohio State coach Ty Tucker in turn called the Bears the hottest team in the country over the past two months, and mentioned that Baylor was playing without Julian Bley in his team's win.

Knoll, who had not yet left the media center, good-naturedly shouted back at Tucker as he exited the room, "It was 7-0," trying to establish that the pressure of being the favorite was not going to land on his team, regardless of Tucker's spin.

Greg Patton, Boise State's coach, knew that his team had to get the doubles point to have a chance against Ohio State, and admitted that losing that point and then five of the first six sets against the Buckeyes was too unfamiliar a situation for them.

For complete results, see the NCAA tournament website at aggieathletics.com.