Jan. 24, 2014
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WACO, Texas -
The seventh-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will begin its dual-match season by hosting 47th-ranked Boise State at the Hurd Tennis Center Saturday at noon as part of the ITA Kickoff weekend.
"The truth is that nothing really matter until we start playing dual matches," head coach Matt Knoll said. "Everything up until this point has been preparation for what is coming up down the road and we want to make sure that we keep improving and stay on track with our developmental plans and get better and better over the course of the season."
Heading into this season, the Bears look to build on a successful 2013 season that included a 22-6 dual-match record and the program's 11th regular season conference title. BU's postseason run was ended last year in the NCAA Championships round of 16 by No. 4 USC.
"I feel like we are one of many good teams out there," Knoll added. "We don't feel like we are on top of the heap by any means at all. We are fighting and scratching and trying to get up from below some other folks and we are going to have to continue to fight and scratch."
The Bears begin their dual match season with four student athletes ranked in the latest ITA poll. Sophomore Julian Lenz, senior Patrick Pradella, junior Diego Galeano and junior Tony Lupieri are currently ranked No. 2, 7, 18 and 92, respectively.
Knoll enters the weekend with an opportunity to pick up his 400th win as Baylor's head coach. The six-time Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year enters the weekend with a record of 399-106 through his tenure at Baylor.
Boise State enters this weekend's contest coming off a 5-2 loss to Northwestern. The Broncos are represented by No. 54 Andrew Bettles in the latest singles rankings.
Baylor leads the Broncos 4-0 in the all-time series with the last meeting coming in 2005 when the Bears took a 4-1 victory at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago, Ill.
Following the Bears matchup with the Broncos on Saturday, BU will face either No. 32 Drake or No. 28 Auburn who will also play at the Hurd Tennis Center Saturday. Auburn enters the weekend with a 3-0 record on the season all coming by scores of 7-0. The Tigers' last outing was on Jan., 22, against Troy. Drake enters the weekend with a 2-1 and coming off a 4-1 win over SMU.
Auburn and Drake will meet on Saturday at 4 p.m., while the losers of Saturday's two matches will play on Sunday at 11 a.m. and the winners will face off at 3 p.m. The winner of two matches in Waco will be one of 15 teams to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 14-17.
Live scoring, a live blog and live video will be available during the matches this weekend on BaylorBears.com with a complete recap to follow each match. To stay up-to-date with the team all season follow @BaylorMTennis on Twitter.