Baylor tennis teams continue string of top preseason rankings
You may have read recently that Baylor is the only school in the nation to have its football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs ranked in the top 14 nationally. But that doesn’t mean BU’s other athletic programs are slouches.
Take tennis, for example. The Baylor men are coming off their 11th Big 12 Conference title in 14 years, and their 12th straight Sweet 16 appearance. Not to be outdone, the Baylor women have won nine of the last 11 Big 12 championships and reached the Sweet 16 eight of the last nine years. This year promises similar success, as the women begin their spring schedule tomorrow in Hawai’i and the men follow suit next weekend in Los Angeles.
For the 11th time in 12 years, the Baylor men will open their spring season ranked among the nation’s top 10; the Bears came in at No. 8 in this year’s preseason ITA rankings, tops in the Big 12. Head coach Matt Knoll’s squad is led by three players ranked among the nation’s top 20 individuals: sophomore Julian Lenz (ranked No. 2 nationally in singles), senior Patrick Pradella (No. 7) and junior Diego Galeano (No. 18).
The Lady Bears are 19th in the preseason ITA rankings, their ninth straight year in the preseason top 20. Head coach Joey Scrivano’s team features only one ranked singles player (sophomore Kiah Generette, No. 38 in the country) and one ranked doubles team (Victoria Kisialeva and Blair Shankle, No. 37), numbers that are likely to improve as the spring progresses.
The two programs also received some good news in December, when it was announced that Baylor will host the 2015 NCAA Tennis Championships. Recent improvements to the Hurd Tennis Center and the addition of the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center made the honor possible.
Sic ’em, Baylor tennis!