WACO (September 20, 2012) -- The Baylor men's tennis team will begin its 2012-13 season when it hosts the 12th-annual Baylor HEB Intercollegiate, Fri.-Sun., Sept 21-23, at the Hurd Tennis Center.
“We have been doing this a long time and it is always a super way to get the season started,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “It is a big event with a lot of tennis. We jam everything into three days, which makes it a physical test.”
The tournament will consist of one 64-player singles draw and a 32-team doubles bracket. Action will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday and continue throughout the weekend.
Fourteen schools will be represented in this year's tournament, which includes three players currently ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) national preseason rankings. Baylor’s Mate Zsiga is the tournament's top-ranked player at No. 7 followed by No. 34 Hunter Reese (Tennessee) and No. 73 Japie de Klerk (Tulsa).
Five Baylor players will compete in the singles draw including last year’s singles champion and this year’s top-seed Zsiga. Rounding out the BU contingent is junior Robert Verzaal, sophomores Marko Krickovic and Robbie Korth and freshman Julian Lenz. Lenz will make his first collegiate tennis appearance, ranked No. 9 among freshmen and newcomers nationally.
“For Julian, it is always good to get your first college match out of the way,” Knoll said. “It is still tennis, but it is a different environment. I know he will be nervous and excited to get out and play for Baylor.”
In the doubles bracket, Lenz will partner with Zsiga and Krickovic and Verzaal will team up to represent Baylor. Krickovic won last year’s doubles title alongside teammate Roberto Maytin.
“Some of the other guys have improved and are eager to get out and show they can play at a higher level than they have in the past,” Knoll said.
Teams participating include: Baylor, DePaul, Idaho, Laredo Community College, Louisiana-Lafayette, Midwestern State, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Tennessee, Tulsa, UT Arlington, UT-San Antonio, UT-Pan American and Virginia Tech.
“Tennis is a competition sport,” Knoll said. “Guys on the tour, for example, have one month off a year, so they just play, play, play. It is hard to not play a lot and stay sharp. We are just going to be looking forward to getting out and competing.”