May 13, 2014
WACO, Texas - Baylor men's tennis players Julian Lenz and Patrick Pradella, along with head coach Matt Knoll were all recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association with Texas region awards on Tuesday.
Lenz was named the region's Player to Watch, after posting a team-best 34-6 singles record in his sophomore season. The Giessen, Germany, product, has a 23-3 record in dual-match action and racked up a 14-2 record for BU at the top of the singles lineup. He earned his second straight All-Big 12 singles accolade and is currently ranked No. 3 in the latest ITA listings.
Pradella, a senior from Bielefeld, Germany, earned the Texas region's Senior of the Year accolade. In his final season in Waco, Pradella is ranked No. 14 in the latest ITA rankings after posting a 20-9 overall record and an 11-5 dual-match mark, while playing exclusively in the top two spots of the lineup. He nabbed his second consecutive all-conference singles honor in 2014. Pradella recorded wins against 12 ranked opponents, including sixth-ranked Axel Alvarez Llamas to clinch the Big 12 Championships crown for BU.
In doubles, Pradella partners with Mate Zsiga to be ranked No. 21 in the latest ITA listings. The duo is 10-7 on the year, but has won its last three decisions and earned All-Big 12 doubles honors a week ago. In that stretch, Pradella and Zsiga have beaten teams ranked No. 29, No. 21 and No. 12. The tandem played only at the top of BU's lineup this season.
Both Lenz and Pradella will represent Baylor in the singles portion of the NCAA Championships, while Pradella and Zsiga earned a berth in the doubles championship draw.
Knoll received the Texas region's Coach of the Year honor, after guiding Baylor to a 25-5 record and both the Big 12 regular season and postseason titles. His squad made the NCAA round of 16 for a 13th straight season in 2014, while turning in a 25-win season for the 11th time. The Bears are ranked No. 6 in the latest ITA poll and have won 17 of their last 18 matches. Knoll has won the honor five previous times with his last recognition coming in 2009.
The Baylor men's team will continue its NCAA Championships run with a Sweet 16 match vs. No. 13 Illinois on Friday at 11 a.m. CT at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Keep up with the Bears all season long by following @BaylorMTennis on Twitter.