Sept. 26, 2013
WACO, Texas - Six members of the Baylor men's tennis team will compete in the ITA All-American Championships, which start Saturday and run to Oct. 6, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
"We are excited for our guys to have the opportunity to play some of the best players from all over the country," head coach Matt Knoll said. "It gives our guys a chance to see how the hard work that they put in over the summer pays off. "
The tournament's singles play includes a 256-player pre-qualifying draw that will advance 16 players into the 128-player qualifying draw where 16 spots for the 64-player main draw will be up for grabs.
No. 16 Patrick Pradella and No. 38 Julian Lenz are both in the main draw of the event scheduled to begin on Oct. 3, while No. 60 Mate Zsiga, No. 79 Tony Lupieri and Diego Galeano will all have to win their way to the singles main draw in qualifying rounds to be played early next week. Freshman Vincent Schneider will start his All-American run in the pre-qualifying round scheduled for Sep. 28.
The Bears are coming off an impressive start to the season, in which three singles competitors advanced to the semifinal round of the HEB Intercollegiate last weekend in Waco. Two Baylor players, Pradella and Lenz, then squared off in the finals with Lenz capturing the singles title.
On the doubles side, Zsiga and Galeano, along with Lenz and Lupieri will open in the qualifying draw on Sept. 30. The BU tandems will be trying to be one of eight doubles tandems that advance out of qualifying into the 32-team main draw.
"Our two teams are experienced teams that should be able to be pretty good if they can raise their energy level some," Knoll said.
Zsiga was the only Baylor player who competed in the main draw singles event last season. He advanced to the second round, before falling to Marcos Giron of UCLA. In doubles play, the pairing of Marko Krickovic and Robert Verzaal won its way through qualifying, before falling in the first round of the main draw.
Complete draws and information for the event will be posted here: http://www.itatennis.com/Events/ITANationalChampionships/MensAllAmerican.htm
For the latest information on the Baylor men's tennis team, follow the team on Twitter: @BaylorMTennis.