WACO, Texas (KWTX) Brian Boland spent part of his Sunday with some of the Baylor men's tennis players on a lake hoping to reel in some fish, but they're most memorable catch may be something other than the 10 fish they hooked this weekend.
Source: Baylor Athletics
The Bears' first-year head coach and the rest of the team enjoyed the day off before they'll make a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals in Orlando, Florida.
Baylor (25-5) is the No. 6 seed in the NCAA men's tennis championship bracket and will face No. 3 Florida, who is trying to avoid becoming gator bait for a Bears team that has mauled Utah, Michigan and UCLA so far in the postseason.
"This is a group that believes in themselves," Boland said. "We'd love nothing more than to bring a championship back to Waco."
Boland is hoping his cast of Baylor athletes will bring the program its second national championship, which would also be his fifth after winning four as a head coach at Virginia in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 after spending the previous season, coincidentally, at the United States Tennis Assocation's national campus in Orlando.
"(The players) have been great about the changes we've made in the coaching staff," Boland said. "The leadership's been great and they've been respected. They really believe. It starts with the seniors and runs all the way down. A lot of things have worked really well. Certainly our doubles came together early in the spring and we've stuck with those teams."
The top doubles team of Jimmy Bendeck and Sven Lah are 13-3 in nationally-ranked matchups. Will Little and Matias Soto are 8-3 overall, while Constantin Frantzen and Johannes Schretter have won 10 of 12 matches together.
"I'm excited to play the Gators," Frantzen said. "I've never played them before. I would say they have home court advantage because it's pretty close to their facility, like two or three hours, but I'm really excited and I think the entire team is looking forward to it and will enjoy it."
Frantzen's best friend, Tennessee junior Luca Wiedenmann, is a part of the Volunteers' team that was eliminated in the tournament by Florida last round, so Wiedenmann had one request before the Bears faced the Gators Thursday at 6 p.m.
"He texted me back and said, 'Please, kick their asses.'"