Baylor was crowned regular-season champions on both the men’s and women’s sides to earn No. 1 seeds entering the championship. Coach Matt Knoll’s BU men’s team took its eighth straight title with a 6-0 Big 12 record, with the Bears ranked No. 5 nationally in the latest Campbell’s/ITA team poll.
Coach Joey Scrivano’s BU women’s squad also clinched at least a share of the regular-season title with a 10-0 conference record through Sunday’s action. The Bears, who are also ranked fifth in the country, have claimed five consecutive league titles. They have won 55 of their last 56 regular-season conference matches.
On the women’s side, No. 2 Texas and No. 3 Texas A&M have earned first-round byes. Dependent upon the results of make-up matches scheduled for April 22, the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds have yet to be determined between Colorado and Nebraska. Oklahoma State enters the week’s competition at No. 6, followed by No. 7 Texas Tech, No. 8 Missouri, No. 9 Kansas and No. 10 Oklahoma. Iowa State (11) and Kansas (12) round out the bracket, with the Cyclones breaking a tie by way of a regular-season win over KSU.
For the men, Texas A&M is the second seed, followed by third-seeded Texas. Oklahoma State is No. 4, while No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Nebraska complete the slate.
The Big 12 Tennis Championships will be held at Headington Family Tennis Center on the University of Oklahoma campus for the second time in conference history. All-session passes are available at $15 for adults and $10 for youth, students and seniors, while single-session tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for youth, students and seniors.
2009 BIG 12 TENNIS -- WOMEN'S TEAM-BY-TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP OUTLOOK
Baylor: The Lady Bears ended the regular season with a busy schedule that included six matches in 11 days. Baylor will be going for its fourth consecutive Big 12 Championship title. Sophomore Jelena Stanivuk and junior Lenka Broosova are Baylor's top singles players while Csilla Borsanyi and Broosova are the team's top doubles duo. The Lady Bears captured their fifth consecutive regular-season title with a 4-0 victory over Colorado Wednesday in Norman, Okla. The match, snowed out on March 28 in Boulder, was held at the site of this week's Big 12 Championship.
Colorado: The Buffaloes made history with a 5-0 start in Big 12 play and an undefeated month of March. Three players have at least 20 singles victories - senior Franziska Jendrian (23), junior Melisa Esposito (21) and junior Camila Belassi (20). Jendrian's singles total is a career high and the third consecutive season she's won at least 20 matches. Jendrian will finish her career as one of the top players in Colorado history. She is tops in career combined singles and doubles victories and in all-time doubles victories.
Iowa State: The Cyclones ended a 79-match Big 12 losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Kansas State. Iowa State is 10-12 overall; the 10 victories is the most for the team since 1996. Sophomore Erin Karonis led the Cyclones with a 15-5 record in singles matches and she was 7-4 in Big 12 matches. In the final week of the season, she became the first Cyclone to win Big 12 Player of the Week honors.
Kansas: The Jayhawks (10-12 overall, 4-7 in the Big 12) finished the regular season tied for eighth in the Big 12 standings with Missouri. The doubles tandem of senior Edina Horvath and freshman Ekaterina Morozova finished with a record of 7-3 in the Big 12. They ended the season with victories over ranked doubles teams from Texas and Texas A&M. Sophomore Maria Martinez was 7-4 while freshman Erin Wilbert was 14-8 in Big 12 singles competition.
Kansas State: The Wildcats' season started with a 3-2 record but the promise of that beginning ended with a 10-match losing streak. Kansas State ended the skid with a victory over Nebraska on April 11. The Wildcats have relied on underclass players. Sophomore Antea Huljev has paced the Wildcats from the top of the singles’ lineup. Freshmen Petra Chuda, Nina Sertic and Mariya Slupska have contributed in singles and doubles competition.
Missouri: The Tigers have toughened themselves against a tough schedule. Coach Blake Starkey's scheduling plan was based on the strength of the team. Two freshmen from Florida - Jamie Mera and Danielle Day - have helped keep Missouri in the national rankings. Both have been solid in singles and doubles. Mera has teamed with Mallory Weber in doubles while Day and Sofia Ayala have an 8-3 record in Big 12 doubles competition.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers were streaky. They started the season 10-0 and then lost the next five. Nebraska bounced back to win four of its last five matches to provide momentum going into the conference tournament. Freshman Mary Weatherholt has a combined 34-4 record through the fall and spring seasons, the best single-season winning percentage in school history. Junior Wiveca Swarting has 30 singles victories in the fall and spring.
Oklahoma: Under first-year coach David Mullins, the Sooners finished 9-13 overall and 3-8 in Big 12 action. Oklahoma played 15 of their 22 matches on the road, including nine against ranked-opponents. One of the non-conference triumphs was an upset of No. 32 Tulsa on March 3. Sophomore Ana-Maria Constantinescu has an 18-2 overall singles record and went 11-0 in Big 12 play. In doubles, sophomore Tara Eckel and freshman Marie-Pier Huet lead the team with a 14-4 overall record and went 9-2 in conference play.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls, who were conference champions in 2003, enter the conference championship 12-11 overall record; they were 5-6 in Big 12 matches. Oklahoma State has only one senior and has used up to three freshmen in the lineup. Freshman Iryna Khatsko is the top singles player with an 18-4 record, including a 9-1 mark in Big 12 matches.
Texas: The Longhorns (14-6 overall, 10-1 in conference) recorded 10 victories in the Big 12 for the third consecutive season. Texas will enter the Big 12 Championship with a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Junior and senior Marija Milic have continued to be an outstanding doubles combo; they reached the round of 16 at the 2008 NCAA Championships. They're ranked 34th in the nation this season.
Texas A&M: The Aggies are the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 Championships for the third consecutive year. Texas A&M has a strong one-two punch in Elzé Potgieter and Morgan Frank at the No. 1 and 2 singles. The other four singles positions are occupied by sophomore Christi Liles and freshmen Janelle Cuthbertson, Lauren Santacroce and Sheri Olivier. Potgieter is a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week. Texas A&M won its only Big 12 Championship title in 2004, the last time the event was hosted by Oklahoma.
Texas Tech: The Lady Raiders are the seventh seed in the Big 12 Championships and will face Oklahoma, the host team, in the first round. Freshman Natalie Leitch and sophomore Kelsy Garland have been the top singles players for Texas Tech. Garland and Samantha van der Drift have combined to become the top doubles team.
2009 BIG 12 TENNIS -- MEN'S TEAM-BY-TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP OUTLOOK
Baylor: The Bears will be looking for their third straight Big 12 tournament championship and their eighth in the last nine years. Baylor, ranked fifth nationally, has won 10 consecutive matches and 15 of the last 17. In singles’ play junior All-American and sixth-ranked Denes Lukacs has won 13 consecutive matches. Baylor’s No. 1 doubles duo of David Galic and Jordan Rux is ranked No. 28 nationally. The Bears won the Big 12 regular-season title for the eighth consecutive season, finishing with a perfect 6-0 record.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers recorded one of the best starts in school history, opening 16-2 with a 13-match winning streak. Nebraska, however, has lost its last seven matches - all to ranked teams. Freshman Christopher Aumueller from Germany is the Huskers' No. 1 singles player and has 18 victories. Senior Hendrik Stahmer also has 18 victories and has won his last four Big 12 singles matches.
Oklahoma: The Sooners (12-9 overall, 1-5 in the Big 12) are ranked 44th nationally and has faced 14 teams ranked in the top 75. Oklahoma boasts two ranked doubles teams in senior Sergey Avdeyev and Ionut Beleleu, No. 46, as well as junior Andrei Daescu and sophomore David Pultr, No. 79. Avdeyev was a two-time selection as 12 Men’s Tennis player of the week.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys, who won 12 Big Eight Conference titles, are still seeking their first Big 12 Championships crown. Oklahoma State (13-6 overall, 3-3 in conference) have twice reached the Big 12 Championships final. Junior Oleksandr Nedovyesov leads the Cowboys in singles and doubles. He holds a 15-3 record this spring, including a 5-1 mark in Big 12 matches. He teams with senior Nathan Byrnes to make up the 17th-ranked doubles team in the country.
Texas: The Longhorns (17-5 overall, 4-2 in conference) will be the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 Championships. Junior Dimitar Kutrovsky is ranked No. 21 nationally while sophomore Ed Corrie is ranked 60th. Texas hopes a strong showing at the Big 12 Championships will boost its chances of hosting first and second rounds in the NCAA tournament.
Texas A&M: The Aggies (14-7 overall, 5-1 in conference play) secured the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Championships with a 4-3 victory over rival Texas. Senior All-American Conor Pollock leads the Aggies as both a singles and doubles competitor. Sophomores Austin Krajicek and Wil Spencer were crowned as Big 12 singles champions during the regular-season. Krajicek earned the honor at the No. 2 singles spot while Spencer plays the No. 3 position.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders (13-10 overall, 2-4 in conference) are ranked 34th nationally. They enhanced their NCAA Championship chances by ending the regular season with a victory over Oklahoma. Freshman Raony Carvalho of Brazil has emerged as Texas Tech's top singles player; he has 25 victories on the season. He teams with Christian Rojmar to make up top doubles team.