COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M men’s tennis team opens fall tournament play at the three-day HEB Baylor Invitational on Sept. 21-23 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco, Texas.
This year’s impressive tournament field includes more than 100 players from host Baylor, Boise State, Cal Baptist, Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Lamar, Laredo CC, Louisville, Mississippi, New Mexico State, Oklahoma, San Diego, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas-Arlington, UT-San Antonio, Texas Tech, Wichita State and Wisconsin.
In the singles draw, 25 players are currently ranked in the preseason FILA/ITA Collegiate Tennis National Rankings including senior All-American Jerry Makowski (Bradenton, Fla.) and junior All-Big 12 Conference standout Conor Pollock (San Antonio, Texas). Two of the top returners for the Aggies, Makowski is ranked No. 34 nationally followed by Pollock at No. 37. Last season, both players finished among the nation’s best and helped lead A&M to its 14th-straight NCAA Team Championship appearance.
Makowski and Pollock are joined at this weekend’s tournament by senior Matt Bain (Georgetown, Texas), sophomore Brad Williams (Cape Town, South Africa), sophomore transfer Chris Chirico (Philadelphia, Pa.) and freshman Kayvon Karimi (Dallas, Texas). Bain and senior teammate Mike Beatty (Cincinnati, Ohio) currently rank No. 57 nationally in doubles.
“Our guys have been working hard and we have seen some good things in practice,” said Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton, who enters his second season with the Aggies. “It will be a tough tournament, but we are much more prepared this year and our guys have been hitting the ball hard in practice. I am excited to see where we are as a team and excited to see our new guys play. Hopefully, the fall will help us formulate a winning game plan leading up to our spring season.”
The three-day tournament will consist of two 32-player singles draws and two 16-team doubles draws. Finals in both singles and doubles will be played on Sunday. The HEB Baylor Invitational will be one of three fall tournaments in which A&M will compete in as a team next to the ITA All-American on Sept. 29-Oct. 7 and ITA Regionals on Oct. 20-23. The Aggies will compete individually at the Midland Invitational on Oct. 12-14 and at the UT Invitational on Nov. 2-4.
Double The Experience…Conor Pollock closed out competition at the 2007 USTA Lubbock Challenger with solid play in the doubles main draw on Wednesday. He and partner Luis Manual Flores of Mexico put up a good fight against Australians Luke Bourgeois and Adam Feeney, but fell in the first round, 7-6 (7), 6-3. For the first time of his career, Pollock earned wild card entries as an amateur in both the singles and doubles main draw at the Lubbock Challenger.