WACO, Texas - The Baylor men's tennis team hits the road for the fourth time this season as they travel to Los Angeles to take on 54th-ranked Purdue and fourth-ranked UCLA.
The 38th-ranked Bears, 8-5 on the season and 1-0 all-time vs. Purdue and 7-3 against UCLA, hope to extend their four-match win streak as it plays a Purdue team that is 5-3 and a UCLA squad that is 12-2. The Purdue match will be played at Loyola Marymount's Tennis Center on Monday, March 12 at 12 p.m. (Central) while the UCLA contest will be at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Wednesday, March 14 at 2 p.m. (Central).
The Bears are led on the season by 28th-ranked freshman Mate Zsiga's 23-4 season mark; he is 9-1 in dual match play, all at the No. 1 spot. Junior Roberto Maytin, ranked No. 125, owns the team's second-best singles record at 17-9, including a 7-4 dual match record. Sophomore Robert Verzaal and senior Kike Grangeiro possess the squad's longest win streaks at five matches each, while Zsiga is right on their heels with a four-match string of victories.
Maytin and Zsiga are the team's top doubles tandem, playing at No. 1, the pair are 10-4 on the season and 8-3 in dual match play. Krickovic and sophomore Robert Verzaal own the team's second-best doubles mark at 7-4 on the season and a 7-3 dual match mark.
For the second time this season, Baylor head coach Matt Knoll is coaching against a former assistant. Third-year Purdue head coach Pawel Gajdzik served as a volunteer assistant coach at Baylor for six years and also played for the Bears. The Boilermakers are coming into the match fresh off a 4-3 upset victory over No. 58 Maryland. The Terps are coached by another former Baylor assistant coach Kyle Spencer. The Bears posted a 5-2 victory over Maryland on March 6.
The UCLA Bruins have three singles players and one doubles team ranked. Nick Meister leads the way at No. 33, Clay Thompson is No. 81 and Marcos Giron is No. 116. The doubles tandem of Meister and Adrien Puget checks in at No. 52.
After the road trip to California, the Bears will play two more matches away from home as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the 19th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers (Sat., March 17) and are at seventh-ranked Kentucky on Monday, March 19. Tennessee is coached by another former Baylor assistant, Sam Winterbotham.