Baylor Welcomes Laredo CC, Abilene Christian
WACO, Texas - The 26th-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will be back in action with matches vs. Laredo Community College (1-2) at 11 a.m. and Abilene Christian (6-4) at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
"The thing about us is that we all need experience," head coach Matt Knoll said. "We don't have three seniors who have really been through it and don't need matches. Everybody needs more match play and if anything I wish we were scheduling a quadruple header."
This will be Baylor's second doubleheader of the season after the Bears blanked Texas-Pan American and UT Arlington by identical 7-0 scores on Feb. 16.
The Bears come into Saturday's matches with four singles players ranked in the latest ITA rankings. Julian Lenz, Marko Krickovic, Mate Zsiga, and Patrick Pradella are ranked No. 43, 77, 78 and 122 respectively.
Baylor has a perfect 5-0 record when playing at home this season and will be coming into the match after defeating No. 10 Florida, 4-3, on the road on Saturday.
"It is tough to play there," Knoll said. "We have struggled down there for years and I thought the guys did a really good job of battling from beginning to end and finding a way to win."
The Bears will begin the day with a match against Laredo CC. The Palominos enter the weekend coming off a 6-2 loss at Incarnate Word.
The Bears lead the overall series with LCC 3-0 with the last meeting coming in the 2012 season.
Baylor will then take the court again to face Abilene Christian. The Wildcats come into Saturday's match with a 6-4 season record and riding a three-match win streak, including a 9-0 sweep of UT Permian Basin in their last match out.
Baylor leads the overall series with the Wildcats 8-3 and has not lost to ACU in the Matt Knoll era. The last matchup between the teams in 2012 resulted in a 6-1 Baylor win.
Following the matches this weekend the Bears will prepare to host a stretch of three top-10 opponents. On March 8, Baylor will welcome No. 6 Kentucky followed by No. 3 UCLA on March 10, before facing No. 1 Virginia on March 11.
"Our schedule is extremely back loaded," Knoll said. "We needed to make some big improvements if we're going to have a chance to succeed against some of the teams we have coming up. We have done that. We needed a result like the Florida result to build up the confidence and togetherness that we need. We all feel great about where we are right now."
To stay up to date with the team all season follow @BaylorMTennis on Twitter.