By Phillip Ericksen
The 29th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team will take on the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at 3 p.m. today at the Hurd Tennis Center.
The Bears (10-4) have lost three straight matches, which have been against top-5 teams.
“We’re just excited for another opportunity to get better,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We’re not really paying attention to who we’re playing. We’re just trying to get one day better.”
The Bears’ were close to beating No. 1 Virginia last week, taking all of their singles losses to a third set.
Their most recent match was a 4-2 road loss to No. 7 Mississippi last Thursday.
The Bears hope that competing in these tough matches will prepare them to win once the Big 12 Tournament and NCAA Tournament begin in later in the season.
“I think the most important thing we learned is that we can beat everybody in the country,” junior Patrick Pradella said. “It was really close. We just have to finish the matches and finish the close sets and then we are going to be fine.”
Pradella, ranked 64th in the nation, is one of four ranked players Baylor brings to face Louisiana-Lafayette. Freshman Julian Lenz is ranked 49th and sophomores Marko Krickovic and Mate Zsiga are 97th and 98th, respectively.
The team had three days off after the most grueling portion of the schedule.
“We’ve played a lot of tennis,” Zsiga said. “I think this break helped us a lot to get some rest and be fresh for the future.”
The Bears will face another short turnaround after the match today. They will take on the Wichita State Shockers at 3 p.m. Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
“We think that we’ve got enough players to be good everywhere,” Knoll said. “We feel like we’ve just got to get over the hump in a couple of matches. I feel really good about the process we’re going through.”