Athens, Ga. – For the second consecutive season, the Florida State men’s tennis team will open the NCAA Tournament at Georgia, this year against perennial NCAA participant Baylor. Saturday’s 10 a.m. match between the Seminoles and Bears is the first meeting between the programs since 2012, a 4-3 Baylor win in Waco, Texas.
The match also features a pair of programs that have two of the longest consecutive appearance streaks in the NCAA Tournament, with Baylor making the draw 19 consecutive seasons and Florida State reaching the Field of 64 14 straight years.
Florida State is led by a trio of seniors at the top of the lineup, highlighted by ITA All-American Benjamin Lock. The 11th-ranked player in the country, Lock last week was named one of the Top 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament singles competition, and also will play in the Doubles championship with fellow senior Marco Nunez.
The Seminoles third senior, Michael Rinaldi, is looking to help the team reach the Round of 16 for the first time since 2009.
In the 2015 NCAA Tournament, Florida State opened with a 4-0 first round win over Troy before falling to host Georgia in the second round. This season, the Seminoles will play a Baylor team that has reached the Round of 16 for 14 straight seasons. The Bears feature a pair of ranked players, with Julian Lenz leading the Bears at the top of the lineup. Lenz, the Big 12 Player of the Year, is ranked 12th in the ITA rankings, and his match against Lock on Court 1 will be a rematch of a meeting between the two at the season-opening Oracle Masters, a 6-4, 6-2 Lock win.
The winner of Saturday’s opener will face the winner of Georgia and South Carolina State. Georgia is the seven-seed in the NCAA field. Sunday’s final will take place at 1 p.m.
For more information on Florida State tennis, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_MTennis), Facebook (/FSUMTennis), and Instagram (@FSU_MTennis).