Galeano gets it done on court, in classroom

By Phillip Ericksen

Sophomore Diego Galeano has played as many matches as anyone on the 20th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team this season.

He readily accepted his role as a utility man, playing with different doubles partners and in various singles spots when head coach Matt Knoll calls his name.

“I play a lot of singles and doubles,” Galeano said. “Sometimes you’re not in the lineup, sometimes you are. I just focus on playing my game every time I can help the team. I should be there and be able to do it the best I can. I want to be one more option for the coaching staff.”

Originally from Asuncion, the capital city of Paraguay, he remembers his parents taking him to practice at nearby tennis courts.

He also played basketball and soccer as a child, but his passion for tennis quickly emerged.

This combination of talent and passion led to a college career at Baylor.

“I decided to play tennis at Baylor because I thought it was the best opportunity for me,” he said. “Not only in the athletic department but also academically.”

Galeano has made the most of his academic opportunity, making the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll last year as a business major.

Galeano shines in both the classroom and the on the tennis court.

He has won every singles match in dual match play this season with victories over Hawaii, SMU, Tulsa, Purdue, Texas-Pan American and UT Arlington.

In these matches, he has played in the bottom two singles spots of five and six.

However, these spots are oftentimes extremely important in determining if the team will take a win or give up a loss.

He attributes his success to constant inspiration from his family.

“My family is the best inspiration I have,” Galeano said. “Everything I do is what they teach me to do.”

When not playing tennis or studying, he enjoys the same activities most Baylor students do.

“I like to play basketball and hang out with my friends and have a good time with friends and family,” he said.

Though he is playing great tennis now, he aspires to even higher goals.

“My first goal is to win the second national championship for Baylor,” Galeano said. “And then I want to be All-American.”

The first championship came in 2004 under the direction of Knoll.

Along with other members of the team, Galeano plans to play professionally.

The big spotlight at Baylor should help him get established on a larger level.

This pressure  helped former Bears Denes Lukacs, Lars Poerschke, Benjamin Becker, Benedikt Dorsch and John Peers all ascend to the professional ranks.

“The reason I came to Baylor is because the tennis program is great, and I want to keep improving my tennis skills,” Galeano said. “I think when I came here I decided to play tennis professionally after college.”

As a team, the Bears are 5-1 on the season, including a perfect 4-0 home record. In its six matches, Baylor has only dropped six matches. The team will next take on North Florida at 2 p.m. today in Jacksonville, Fla. Two days later, the team will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators.

The Bears are currently the 20th-ranked team in the country. The only other Big 12 schools ranked in the top 25 are No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 15 Texas.

Galeano and the Baylor Bears will take on the Sooners in Waco on April 12.

On April 17, the team will head down I-35 to Austin to take on the Longhorns.