Jan. 4, 2012
WACO, Texas -
A trio of Bears, including two freshmen, rank among the nation's top 60 players to lead the fifth-ranked Baylor men's tennis team in the latest release of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Freshman Mate Zsiga is BU's top-ranked player at No. 20, freshman Lars Behlen checks in at No. 52 and junior Roberto Maytin follows at No. 54. The No. 5 team ranking is Baylor's highest initial listing since it ranked No. 4 to begin the 2007-08 season.
The Bears, who finished the 2011 campaign with a 22-5 dual-match record and attained a final ranking of No. 6, begin this season ranked one spot above where they finished last season. Baylor looks to claim its 11th Big 12 crown and 15th NCAA berth. The Bears have won 10 Big 12 titles in the last 12 years and have advanced to at least the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for 10 straight years.
The 20th-ranked Zsiga, a 6-2 right-hander from Szeged, Hungary, enjoyed the team's best fall season, finishing with an 11-2 mark. He began the fall with a seven-match win streak which included a win over Maytin in the BU-HEB Invitational singles championship. Ranked as the No. 3 freshman nationally by the ITA, Zsiga posted wins over three ranked players and his only losses came against ranked opponents, Auburn's Andreas Mies, currently ranked No. 18, and Texas Tech's then-11th-ranked Gonzalo Escobar.
Behlen, a 6-4 freshman from Munster, Germany, posted the Bears' second-best fall record with an 8-3 record, earning him a No. 52 ranking. Two of Behlen's three fall losses came against ranked opponents, including Escobar.
Returning doubles All-American Roberto Maytin, a junior from Valencia, Venezuela, is ranked No. 54 in singles. Last season, Maytin posted a 26-12 singles mark and was a school-record 39-7 in doubles. During fall competition he was 9-3.
Maytin and freshman Marko Krickovic
, a 6-0 freshman from Ismaning, Germany, are ranked No. 18 in doubles. The tandem posted a 5-2 record during fall play, including winning the doubles championship of the BU-HEB Invitational.
Baylor begins the 2012 season in Southern California, competing in the Sherwood Cup, Jan. 13-16, in Los Angeles. The Bears will open dual match play on Friday, Jan. 20, when they host Louisiana-Lafayette at 2:30 p.m., followed by a Sunday, Jan. 22 match vs. eighth-ranked Florida at 12:00 p.m., in Waco.