Feb. 13, 2014
#8 Texas A&M (6-2) vs. #6 Baylor (6-0)
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 | 6 p.m. CT
Houston, Texas | Downtown Club at the Met
Live Scoring | Live Blog
WACO, Texas -The sixth-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships starting Friday in Houston.
BU, 6-0 on the season, will face eighth-ranked Texas A&M at 6 p.m. in the opening round of action to be held at the Downtown Club at the Met.
The Bears will be taking part in the event for the first time since 2012 when BU went 0-3. This will be the 11th-time Baylor has played in the event overall with its best finish coming in 2005. In that season, the Bears knocked off four ranked teams to win the title. BU's all-time record at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships is 17-14.
"This event is going to be great for us," head coach Matt Knollsaid. "It mirrors the final site of the NCAA Championships - having 16 teams at the same place. It is a great experience for the guys to be in a championship environment with some of the best teams in the country. That is one of the real positives with the other being that it is great tennis. For us to be able to play against some of the top teams in the nation at this stage of the year will be valuable for what is to come later."
Baylor is led by a trio of ranked players on the singles side. Julian Lenz, Patrick Pradella and Diego Galeanoare all ranked No. 6, 9, and 18 respectively in the latest ITA rankings.
Baylor's matchup with the Aggies represents the 54th meeting between the two teams and is the first meeting since Texas A&M left the Big 12 Conference following the 2012 season. The Bears have won eight of the last 11 matchups against A&M, but still trail 19-33-1 in the overall series that dates to the 1970 season.
Texas A&M enters the weekend with a 6-2 record on the season. The Aggies also have three ranked singles competitors including No. 22 Harrison Adams, No. 25 Jeremy Efferding, and No. 43 Shane Vinsant.
The field of this year's ITA Indoor Championships consists of three teams from the Big 12 with Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas claiming the sixth, seventh and 13th seeds.
Baylor is guaranteed to play three matches in the event with a fourth contest coming on Monday for the title, if BU wins the first three. If the Bears win Friday's match, they will face the winner of No. 14 Tennessee and No. 3 USC in the quarterfinal round scheduled for Saturday.
"I think having the event in Houston is a huge advantage," added Knoll. "It is nice not to have to get on an airplane, and we will have some supporters down there. We would like to invite everyone in the Baylor family to come out and cheer for the Bears."
The Bears advanced to this weekend's event by taking down No. 47 Boise State, 4-0, on Jan. 25 and then beating No. 28 Auburn, 4-1, on Jan. 26 in the finals of the Kick-Off Weekend in Waco.
In its last match out, the sixth-ranked Bears swept a doubleheader, blanking Cameron and Louisiana-Lafayette by 7-0 scores on Feb. 7. A complete draw and live scoring of matches can be found here, http://www.itatennis.com/Events/ITANationalChampionships/DIMensTeamIndoors.htm.
For the latest information on the Baylor men's tennis team, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorMTennis.