#5 Baylor 4, Washington 1

OK, here is the disappointing end of season wrap: #5 Baylor 4, Washington 1 Matt Brown served an ace on match point to beat Andy Kuharszky 6-2, 6-2 and give the fifth seeded Baylor Bears a 4-1 win over the Huskies in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Tennis Championships at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.

Baylor opened the match with a 1-0 lead, winning the doubles point with victories at the second and third positions. At second doubles, Brown and Matija Zgaga got a big break of serve at 7 all and served out a 9-7 win over Klaus Jank and Kuharszky.

At third doubles David Galic and Will Ward prevailed over Jean Noel Insausti and Mike Ricks 8-3. The top match between the Huskies' Daniel Chu and Alex Slovic and the Bears' Michal Kotka and Lars Poerschke got abandoned with the score tied at 7 all and Chu serving at game point to give the Huskies the lead. When play shifted to singles the Huskies got even at a point apiece when Pierre Metenier bested Zgaga 6-1, 6-3 at the second position.

Unfortunately after that the Bears got the three points they needed to secure the match and advance to a quarterfinal against host and 13th seeded Stanford. In the top match Poerschke broke Slovic in the third game of the opening set and took a 4-2 lead but Slovic rallied to win three straight games, including one on a service break in the eighth game, to take a 5-4 lead. The two players then remained on serve and eventually went to a tiebreak. Slovic won the first two points but a service winner, two double faults, and a forehand unforced error gave Poerschke a 4-2 lead. Slovic cut the lead to 5-4 but the Bear won both of his service points, on an ace and a forehand winner, to take the set. In the second set, only one break of serve, by Poerschke in the eighth game, determined the second set. Poerschke went up 5-3 with the break and then held serve, drilling an ace on match point, to give Baylor a 2-1 lead.

At fourth singles, Ward broke Chu twice, in the fifth and ninth games, to take the first set 6-3. In the second set Chu broke Ward in the third game to take a 2-1 lead but Ward got the break back for 2 all. Chu then had five points to break for a 3-2 lead but Ward saved them all. With the score tied at 3-3 Ward won the next three games to put Baylor on top 3-1. ; Moments later Brown closed out his match against Kuharszky at fifth singles. Had the match gone any further the Huskies at worst would have made the final score a lot closer.

At third singles Insausti rallied from losing the opening two games against Kotka to take a 3-2 lead. He then had two chances to break Kokta in the 12th game and claim the first set but Kokta saved both and forced the set to a tiebreak. Kokta had the biggest lead in the tiebreak, two points, at 4-2 but an unforced error and a service winner gave Insausti a 4-4 tie. The two players went on to play 14 more points in the tiebreak, with Insausti having five set points and Kokta one, before an inside out forehand crosscourt return winner by Insausti gave him the 12-10 tiebreak win and the set.

Then in the second set Insausti lead 3-1 before the match got called. Meanwhile at sixth singles Jank and Vladimir Portnov had begun the third set after Jank won the first 6-3 and Portnov the second 6-1. Washington associate head coach Chris Russell said, "The first one (match at the Round of 16) is a big one to get through. We did not get off to the start we wanted, and the breaks did not go our way. Baylor got a break in the 15th game at second doubles; Slovic lost the first set after having a 2-0 lead in the tiebreak (against Poerschke); and Chu did not convert when he had five break chances (against Ward for 3-2 in the second set."

"When you get this far, all the teams are good and there really isn't much difference, other than the teams (that advance), take advantage of the window of opportunity when it is opened." The Huskies finished the season, one that Russell described as "a good one with a lot of highlights", at 20-6.

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