Jan. 16, 2014
WACO, Texas - The eighth-ranked Baylor men's tennis program will travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to compete in the Sherwood Collegiate Cup to be held at the Sherwood Country Club Friday through Sunday.
Baylor is playing in the event for the fifth consecutive year and has placed five competitors in the draw for the event, including the No. 2 overall seed Julian Lenz.
This year's field includes four other perennial powerhouse collegiate tennis programs with representatives from UCLA, USC, Pepperdine and Stanford, who are ranked in the preseason polls at No. 2, 4, 13, and 41 respectively. Four of the five teams represented in the draw this year finished the 2012-2013 regular season ranked inside the top 20 in the country and two of the five teams advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Team championships.
"As much as any year this is an incredibly tough tournament and just a great chance to play a lot of good matches," head coach Matt Knoll said. "There is nothing better than playing matches that count before you get into the dual-match season. I think our guys are excited to go out there and make that part of the preparation for the rest of the season."
Three Baylor players are slated to begin their tournament run at 9 a.m. Friday, all against USC players, as second-ranked Lenz goes up against Robbie Bellamy, and No. 92 Tony Lupieri faces No. 67 Johnny Wang. Baylor junior Mate Zsiga will take on Eric Johnson in his first round matchup.
Freshman Vincent Schneider will begin his 2014 season against UCLA's Karue Sell Friday at 10:30 a.m. Baylor senior Robert Verzaal, who will be making his return to action after taking the fall semester off as he faces sixth-seeded and 113th-ranked Roberto Quiroz of USC.
Second round action in the singles draw is also scheduled to be played Friday afternoon with the first matches set to begin at 1:30 pm.
Doubles competition will begin on Saturday morning with all matches set to begin at 10:15 a.m. Baylor will have two teams competing in the doubles draw beginning with Baylor's Schneider and Verzaal who will face USC's pairing of Max deVroome and Eric Johnson, while third-seed Zsiga and Lenz are set to face Nick Crystal and Michael Grant also of USC.
Following this weekend's tournament, the Bears will return to Waco to begin their 2014 dual match season. BU will host No. 38 Boise State on Saturday January 25, at noon as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
For more information on the Baylor men's tennis team, follow the team's official twitter account: @BaylorMTennis.