ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico men’s tennis team has signed a pair of players for the 2014-15 school year. Head Coach Alan Dils and Associate Head Coach Bart Scott have announced that Bart Van Leijsen and Albuquerque's own Michael Tran will join the Lobos for the upcoming season.
Van Leijsen is a 6’4” recruit from the Netherlands. He brings a wealth of international experience with him to the Land of Enchantment.
“He's definitely going to be an asset for us as his passion for improving, his size, his experience, and his humility will help push our team to new heights,” Scott said.
Van Leijsen is a right-handed player who has a strong serve and an impressive all-court game. He has competed in several international events throughout his career including the Leeuwenbergh ITF 4 Junior Championships, the 2013 Biesterbos Open, and the 2013 ITF Euro Holding Bytom Cup.
"I am so excited to come over in August and become a part of the Lobo family and play with the guys on the team and work with the coaches who gave me a great feeling during my visit to Albuquerque,” Van Leijsen said. “I am looking forward to playing with the Lobo logo on my clothes and being a part of the team there. The players and coaches will see that I will do whatever it takes to help the Lobos win.”
The second signee is a New Mexico local from La Cueva High School. Tran is a four-star recruit who also brings a lot of experience to court. The 2013 state champion is a top-fifty US Junior that has been ranked as high as No. 28. Tran is the team captain at La Cueva and currently holds a perfect 12-0 record for the 2014 season. Tran and the Bears are favored to take the 2014 title in the state championship being played May 7-10.
"Being from Albuquerque and growing up with the Lobo community I have had the dream of becoming a Lobo and playing on the team since I can remember,” Tran said. “Now, I have the opportunity to make that dream a reality and am grateful for this opportunity. Joining the Lobo family will be a great experience.”
Dils and Scott are just as excited to add another local player to their roster.
“We're so happy to keep Albuquerque's best player in the great state of New Mexico,” Scott said. “We've all seen Michael Tran grow up and watched his game blossom over the years. It's going to be such a privilege, like it has been to have Sean Baklini (also of Albuquerque), and Anthony, New Mexico's Bryan Cunningham playing for UNM. Those three are going to lead the way in the coming years and this community should be very proud of these young players.”
The Lobos, who finished the season with a 20-8 record, will also return ten of their eleven players from the 2013-14 season.
Head to the UNM Men’s Tennis Team Facebook page for more updates and news throughout the summer.