Nov. 11, 2009
WACO, Texas - Baylor head men's tennis coach Matt Knoll announced the signing of Robert Verzaal (Shreveport, La.) to a National Letter of Intent for the 2010-11 academic year Wednesday.
Verzaal (pronounced ver-ZALL) is ranked No. 47 in the nation by tennisrecuriting.net and is the No. 2 recruit from the state of Louisiana.
"Robert is personally a great fit for Baylor," men's tennis coach Matt Knoll said. "He has a real passion for tennis. He is a guy with a really strong family. He will be a great fit for the Baylor environment. His father is a teaching pro in Louisiana and his mother is in the business as well, so they are a real tennis family."
Knoll said that he has seen Verzaal improve over time and that he feels the young player will continue to get better.
"From a tennis standpoint he has a great backhand, just a fantastic backhand," Knoll said. "He can also come forward and finish points at the net. His net game is very advanced for his age and he is working hard to get the other parts of his game going." Aiding the process of Verzaal's continued growth will be the fact that he is a good athlete who runs well, according to Knoll.
"I would expect that he would have a chance to contribute to our team in doubles right off the bat," Knoll said. "His doubles skills are very solid. We are going to bring him in here and give him every opportunity to help us immediately."
Knoll also believes that Verzaal has the ability to earn a spot in Baylor's singles lineup his first year on campus.
"I think there is a chance he could get in the singles lineup his first year," Knoll said. "We are certainly going to give him a chance to earn a spot. He has got ability. He is going to get better and I think he is a great fit for Baylor. I also think the guy is going to be a big part of our success in the years to come."