Eight players from the 22nd-ranked Baylor men's tennis team will open their 2017 spring season at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup Friday through Monday in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“This is a great event with great competition,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “We are tired of playing ourselves and ready to play somebody else. We are motivated. Our guys have all the right ingredients. We just need to play a little bit and get them some more experience.”
Baylor is playing at the Sherwood Country Club for the eighth consecutive year and has placed eight singles players and four doubles teams in the 32-man singles and 16-pairing doubles draws, including the No. 5 overall seed and 44th-ranked Max Tchoutakian.
This year's field includes three other powerhouse collegiate tennis programs with representatives from UCLA, USC and Stanford, which are ranked in the preseason polls at No. 8, 10, and 18 respectively.
The eight Baylor players are slated to begin their tournament run on Friday morning, highlighted by Tchoutakian taking on David Wilczynski of Stanford at 11 a.m. CT. Other 11 a.m. matches for the Bears include freshman Constantin Frantzen facing Jake DeVine of USC and junior Will Little taking on USC’s fourth-seeded and 28th-ranked Logan Smith.
Meanwhile, Johannes Schretter meets seventh-seeded and 87th-ranked Maxime Cressy of UCLA at 12 p.m. CT, Juan Benitez plays Robbie Bellamy at 12:15 p.m. CT, 81st-ranked Jimmy Bendeck battles UCLA’s Evan Zhu at 12:30 p.m. CT and Bjoern Petersen squares off against Nikita Demir of Stanford at 12:45 p.m. CT. In the final opening match of the day, Tyler Stayer matches up against UCLA’s Logan Staggs at 1 p.m. CT.
Second round action in the singles draw is also scheduled to be played Friday afternoon with the first matches set to begin at 3:30 p.m. CT. A consolation draw will be played following the conclusion of the first round. The quarterfinals will be played on Saturday, followed by the semifinals on Sunday and finals on Monday.
Doubles competition will begin on Saturday morning with all matches starting at 12:15 p.m. CT.
Baylor will have four teams competing in the doubles draw beginning with Little and Schretter taking on Stanford’s top-seeded and 15th-ranked Sameer Kumar and Yale Goldberg. Benitez and Tchoutakian will pair together to face fourth-seeded Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven of USC. Meanwhile, Frantzen and Petersen team up to battle UCLA’s Gage Brymer and Austin Rapp. BU’s final pairing of Bendeck and Stayer will partner to face USC’s Logan Smith and Jake DeVine.
The quarterfinal round will be played on Saturday afternoon, followed by the semifinals and finals on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Following this weekend's tournament, the Bears will return to Waco to begin their 2017 dual-match season with a doubleheader. BU will host Incarnate Word and Grand Canyon Saturday, Jan. 21, at 1 and 6 p.m., respectively, at the Hurd Tennis Center.