June 4, 2014
SKILLMAN, N.J. -
A total of four Baylor men's tennis players made the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings, along with one doubles duo, the ITA announced Wednesday.
As a team, Baylor finished the year ranked No. 6, after posting a 26-6 record and making the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since 2011. The Bears won both the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles to give them 20 conference crowns. BU was the highest ranked team in Texas and finished in the top-20 for a 13th-straight year.
"We had a good year," head coach Matt Knoll said. "We felt like we were one of the better teams. With everything we accomplished we certainly feel great about it, but also we feel like there is a lot left out there. I think that is a pretty good way to go into the summer. You feel like you have some opportunity to move forward. I know guys are going to work hard and come back ready to continue to build."
In singles, Julian Lenz (No. 4) and Patrick Pradella (No. 18) both earned All-America honors by finishing in the top-20 of the final rankings. It is the first time BU has had two singles All-Americans in the same year since 2008 when Denes Lukacs and Lars Poerschke were honored. BU has had one singles All-American in 11 of the last 13 years.
"I am proud of Julian and Pat," Knoll said. "Both guys had great seasons. Both guys got a lot better. It was fun to see them improve and do as well as they did."
Diego Galeano (No. 40) and Michel Dornbusch (No. 119) gave the Bears at least four singles players ranked for the third time in four years.
In doubles, Pradella partnered with Mate Zsiga to be ranked No. 28. BU has now has at least one doubles tandem in the final rankings for 17 consecutive years. Pradella and Zsiga earned a berth in the NCAA Doubles Championship and were recognized on the All-Big 12 doubles team. The pairing was 10-9 overall and 10-8 in dual-match play.
"Our doubles team also improved throughout the year," Knoll said. "They lost a bunch of close matches early and then were able to turn that around."
Lenz enjoyed the top season of any Baylor player with a 35-8 record and a 24-4 mark in dual-match play. He was named the ITA National Player to Watch and a member of the All-Big 12 singles team. Lenz was 15-3 for the Bears at the No. 1 spot and earned a spot in the NCAA Singles Championship.
Pradella, another NCAA Singles Championship participant, completed his Baylor career with a 21-10 season and a 12-5 mark in dual-match action. He earned a spot on the All-Big 12 singles team as well, while holding a 12-9 mark against ranked foes.
Galeano posted a 29-13 record on the season and a 16-8 mark in dual-match play en route to claiming All-Big 12 singles honors. He went 15-5 in the No. 3 spot for the Bears and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship.
Dornbusch, in his first season with the Bears, went 14-6 in all dual-matches. He won his last three matches and was 5-0 at the No. 4 position.
For more information on the Baylor men's tennis team, follow the team's official twitter account: @BaylorMTennis.