MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — No amount of fluids could wash down the bitter taste that was left in the mouths of the Baylor boys’ tennis program Wednesday — regardless of the hot weather outside.
In a match reminiscent of the year before, the Red Raiders dropped a 4-2 decision to Montgomery Bell Academy, giving Baylor its’ second consecutive Division II-AA runner-up finish.
“I’m getting a severe case of déjà vu,” Baylor director of tennis Ned Caswell said after receiving the runner-up trophy.
Baylor (9-3) gained a one-point advantage by winning two doubles matches, but could only manage one win once the match turned to singles — by Anderson Scarpa, who defeated Palmer Campbell 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
No point was easy in the 3 ?-hour marathon between the two rivals. Four of the six matches played went three sets, with MBA winning the other two that finished.
Eric Roddy and Kalyan Chadalavada were tied at 5 each in the third set when Russell Anderson clinched the win at No. 4 singles.
“It’s disappointing to lose like that, but if you don’t enjoy playing in matches like that, you don’t need to be playing tennis,” Caswell said. “A lot of people think that tennis is a sport that should be low on enthusiasm, but these are still high school kids.”
Baylor loses four seniors, three of which — Zach Moore, Nathan Schley and Alex Cooper — played in the state tournament. MBA (14-3) loses two seniors.
“These guys have worked hard; I really wanted this win for them — especially the seniors,” MBA coach Tom Boysen said.
“This is such a humbling experience for me.”