WACO, Texas -- For the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, Baylor men's tennis is a preseason top-15 team in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, released Wednesday afternoon by the organization.
Coming in at No. 11, the Bears are the third-highest ranked Big 12 team behind Texas (8) and TCU (10). Last season, BU was No. 22 in the preseason rankings before rising to a season-best No. 3 ranking during their 23-8 campaign that ended in the NCAA Round of 16 for the 17th time in the last 19 seasons.
The Bears have eight matches against teams that are either ranked or receiving votes for the 2018 season: No. 8 Texas, No. 10 TCU, No. 15 Oklahoma State, No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 23 Columbia, No. 24 Texas Tech, and South Florida and UCF (RV).
Five letterwinners return from last year's squad, including No. 11 Johannes Schretter who posted a 21-4 singles record. Schretter went 9-4 during the fall season and advance to the semifinals at the inaugural Oracle ITA Masters and ITA Texas Regional championship match.
He pairs up with junior Will Little for the No. 2 ranked doubles tandem in the country, heading into the spring season with a 5-2 record and a semifinal appearance at the ITA All-American Championships.
Also ranked in singles is sophomore Bjoern Petersen at No. 64. He went 1-1 in singles action at the ITA Fall National Championships. Making their debut in the doubles rankings at No. 40 are Sven Lah and Roy Smith. The duo went 2-1 in doubles during their first fall season.
The Bears open the 2018 season with a doubleheader against UMKC Saturday, Jan. 20. The matches will be played at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. CT, respectively.
For the latest information on the Baylor men's tennis team, follow the team on social media: @BaylorMTennis.