Jan. 17, 2013
WACO, Texas - Following a victory in its first dual-match of the season, the 15th-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will send five student-athletes to participate in the Sherwood Collegiate Cup in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The four-day competition will run Friday through Monday and will include the Bears and players from four other teams ranked inside the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's top 15: No. 2 USC, No. 3 UCLA, No.10 Stanford and No. 14 California.
"This weekend will be a great chance for our guys to get into a very competitive environment," head coach Matt Knoll said. "It will be a super way to get us going before the meat of our dual-match schedule. The competition is always top-notch out there and I expect this to be a real productive trip for us, because we are able to get a ton of tennis in."
The tournament, held at the Sherwood Country Club, will feature a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles bracket.
Competing for Baylor in the singles bracket is 50th-ranked Marko Krickovic, No. 60 Mate Zsiga, Diego Galeano, Tony Lupieri and Robert Verzaal. Krickovic and Lupieri will partner together as well Galeano and Zsiga to take part in the doubles bracket. Zsiga is one of eight seeded singles players at the event, earning a No. 5 seed.
"We have a bunch of guys playing pretty well right now," Knoll said. "For them this weekend will be about just getting some more matches and staying on the path to get better. Sherwood is a great venue and that staff does a super job of hosting us."
Last Saturday in Hawai'i, Baylor opened the season with a 6-1 victory over the host Warriors.
In California, Baylor will be up against some of the best competition in the country. USC features three of the singles draw's top four seeds including the No. 1 seed Ray Sarmiento, ranked No. 10 in the country. The other top seeds include 12th-ranked Marcos Giron of UCLA, USC's 24th-ranked Roberto Quiroz and 27th-ranked Emilio Gomez.
The Bears will be playing in the tournament for the 11th time in 12 years after not participating in the event in 2009. Baylor has had success in the event including the 2008 singles champion in Lars Poerschke and the 2008 doubles champions in Attila Bucko and Denes Lukacs, as well as the 2006 singles championship won by Matija Zgaga.
Last season, Zsiga and former Bear Kike Grangiero reached the semifinals of the doubles draw, before bowing out.
Baylor will come back to Texas to resume its dual-match schedule on Jan. 25 vs. SMU at 7 p.m. The contest against the Mustangs will be played in the Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center as part of the facility's grand opening.
BaylorBears.com will have a full recap and complete results of the action at the end of each day of competition in California. Follow @BaylorMTennis on Twitter for results and updated information.