Bears send three competitors to the event for the first time in 11 seasons.
The Baylor men’s tennis team will have three players, Diego Galeano, Julian Lenz and Patrick Pradella, in action at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships Thursday through Sunday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.
“I think it has been a really productive fall,” said head coach Matt Knoll. “We have won four tournaments this fall and guys have played really well. This year we have got three guys here in this fall ending event. I think you can see that guys are getting better and things are moving in the right direction.”
The men’s singles field includes six of the top 10 players from the ITA Division I Men’s Preseason Rankings and 21 colleges and universities in the 32-player singles draw.
Pradella, ranked No. 16, has been named the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed and will begin the event against top-ranked Mikelis Libities of Tennessee. Pradella holds a 7-2 record on the season and earned an automatic bid to the event following a trip to the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships earlier this fall.
The 38th-ranked Lenz received the No. 3 seed in the tournament after qualifying for the event when he reached the semifinal round of the ITA All-American Championships earlier this fall. He comes into the event with an 8-1 record through the fall season and will open play against No.7 Nik Scholtz of Mississippi.
Junior Diego Galeano earned his spot in the tournament by winning the USTA/ITA Texas Regional singles title last month. Galeano defeated 56th-ranked Shane Vincent of A&M 4-6. 6-4. 7-5 in the final round of the event held at the Hurd Tennis Center. Galeano owns an 11-2 singles record and will face sixth-seeded and 74th-ranked Clay Thompson in the first round of action.
“I think it is funny,” Knoll said, “Pradella is the top seed in the tournament and is facing the No. 1 ranked player in the country. I am not exactly sure how that works. Julian Lenz is also facing a top ten guy in the first round. We have a ton of respect for everyone here in this tournament and we are going to have to worry about ourselves and try to do a good job of executing our game plan. If we can do that than we are confident that we have a pretty good chance.”
The last time Baylor had three players named to the field was in 2002 when Benjamin Becker, Benedikt Dorsch, and Zoltan Papp all qualified for the event.
For complete live coverage of the event, visit http://www.itatennis.com/Events/USTA-ITA-Championships-Events/NationalIndoors.htm.