April 22, 2014
IRVING, Texas -
The Baylor men's tennis team led the Big 12 Conference with six student-athletes earning a spot on the Academic All-Big 12 Team, league officials announced on Tuesday.
Five players, Julian Lenz, Tony Lupieri, Patrick Pradella, Robert Verzaal and Mate Zsiga were named to the first team, while Diego Galeano nabbed second-team honors.
Six players honored is a new program record for BU, which had five student-athletes recognized in 2009 and 2010. The Bears have now had at least two honorees in 12 consecutive seasons.
Lenz, a sophomore pre-business major, is the No. 2 ranked singles player in the country. He owns a 21-2 dual-match singles record and was 4-1 in Big 12 play. He has 14 wins over ranked opponents this season. The Giessen, Germany, product, has had success in doubles as well. He is 8-1 with partner Michel Dornbusch and was 5-0 in Big 12 play.
Lupieri, a junior management major, has produced a 29-8 singles record this season and a 15-4 mark in dual-match play. The Zagreb, Croatia, native, is 11-5 in doubles play with partner Diego Galeano.
Pradella has played at the top of the lineup for most of the season. The senior economics major boasts a 19-9 singles record and a current national rank of No. 16. The product of Bielefeld, Germany, partners with Mate Zsiga in doubles to be the 36th-ranked tandem. The duo has a 9-7 record in doubles play.
Verzaal, a senior management major from Shreveport, La., has a 4-1 singles record in dual-match play and a 6-3 record in doubles action this year.
Winning 11 singles matches in a row has upped Zsiga's season record to 27-12 and his dual-match mark to 17-5. The speech communication major from Sveged, Hungary, was an undefeated 5-0 in Big 12 play. The junior teams with Pradella to makeup the No. 36 doubles team in the country, which is 9-7 on the year.
On the second team, Galeano is a junior entrepreneurship and management major from Asuncion, Paraguay. He is 13-5 in spring singles action and has a 25-9 record overall this year. Galeano is currently ranked No. 29 in the latest ITA singles listings. He partners with Lupieri to be 11-5 in doubles action.
The league honored a total of 23 men, including 17 on the first team and six on the second team.
To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. First-team honorees have a 3.20 GPA or higher. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.
Next up, Baylor will begin the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Conference Championships starting Friday in Fort Worth, Texas. The Bears will take on the winner of Friday's Oklahoma State-Texas Tech match at noon on Saturday.
To stay current on all things Baylor Men's Tennis, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorMTennis.