By Meghan Mitchell Lariat Sports Writer
Baylor senior tennis player Julian Lenz was named Big 12 Player of the Week by officials Thursday after winning five-straight matches to take the 2016 Sherwood Collegiate Cup Singles Title on Monday in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“I am happy for Julian. He played really well all weekend,” said head coach Matt Knoll on Monday following the Sherwood Collegiate Cup. “This was a significant step for him. He was hurt in the fall and to come out with the focus and professionalism and the hunger that he did was a great sign for him for the spring.”
Lenz, who advanced to the tournament’s semifinals his junior year and to the quarterfinals his sophomore year, finally took the title his senior year after hard work and determination paid off.
“Julian has done a super job since he came back from the holiday of having the right mindset in practice,” Knoll said. “He has focused on the things he wants to work on and I think that is what set him up to play so well. It is amazing how when you apply yourself in practice that carries over to the matches.”
Lenz became the third Baylor player to win the Sherwood Collegiate Cup title, joining Matija Zgaga, who won it in 2006, and Lars Poerschke, who won it in 2008.
Currently at 5-2 overall, Lenz looks to keep the momentum going after turning things around last weekend. Lenz lost two matches in the fall and overcame an injury.
Lenz is a key player for Baylor as the Bears look to defend their 2015 Big 12 title as he is the No. 1 player in the Bears’ lineup.
Baylor will begin its 2016 season play at noon Saturday at the Hurd Tennis Center and host UC-Irvine.