WACO (September 18, 2013) -- Baylor men’s tennis head coach Matt Knoll announced the team’s 2013-14 schedule on Wednesday, which features 23 dual-matches, including 13 vs. 2013 NCAA Championship teams.
“We always want to try to play the best schedule possible,” Knoll said. “We are playing the two NCAA finalists from last year and the one that won it the year before that. We want to kind of work down from there and we really feel excited about the chance to go and play at some of these tough places on the road.”
Overall, BU’s schedule currently features eight fall individual tournaments, one spring individual tournament and 23 dual-matches. The Bears will host 15 opponents in the dual-match season, while traveling the eight remaining matches.
After reaching the NCAA Championship Round of 16 for the 12th-consecutive year, the Bears will begin their fall season hosting the 12th-annual Baylor-HEB Invitational at the Hurd Tennis Center on Sep. 20-22.
Baylor will then have select players travel to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in the ITA All-American Championships on Sep. 28-Oct. 6.
After a short break, the Bears will be back in action as they travel to Mansfield, Texas, for the Mansfield Futures tournament, Oct. 11-20, before hosting the ITA Texas Regional, Oct. 19-22. The team will wrap up the month of October in Pensacola, Fla., competing in the Pensacola Futures event, which runs Oct. 27-Nov. 3.
BU will continue its fall season at the Kramer Club Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 1-3, as well as the Niceville Futures on Nov. 2-10. During the first half of November, select players will also take part in the ITA National Indoor Singles and Doubles Championships in New York, Nov. 7-10, to wrap up their fall slate.
The Bears will start the 2014 portion of their schedule by traveling to the Sherwood Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif., Jan. 17-20.
Baylor opens its dual-match season with the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, which will serve as the qualifying rounds of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. BU faces Boise State at the Hurd Tennis Center on Jan. 25 and the winner of that match will play the winner of Auburn and Drake on Jan. 26.
BU continues its home stand by welcoming Purdue on Feb. 2. The Bears will host their first of three doubleheaders on Feb. 7 with Cameron University and Louisiana come to Waco.
After a two-year break, the Bears are again scheduled to take part in ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston, Texas, Feb. 14-17.
“We have indoor courts now so we can prepare properly for that tournament,” said Knoll. “Also I think that our team is ready. I think we have a team that is excited about being in a national championship so early and competing with the best teams in the country. Having it in Houston is nice because it is in driving distance for our fans to be able to get down there.”
Following the indoor championships, the Bears will play seven straight matches vs. team that finished in the top-25 of the final 2013 ITA team rankings. BU begins that test at home against No. 23 Mississippi on Feb. 23, before going on the road to face reigning NCAA champion Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on March 1.
The Bears will then travel back to Los Angeles to face 2012 NCAA champion USC, and last season’s NCAA runner-up UCLA on March 9 and 13, respectively. Baylor will remain in California to take part in two matches in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Open. The Bears will take on No. 13 California on March 15, before battling with No. 15 Illinois on March 16, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden .
Baylor returns home for six straight matches, starting with No. 25 Tulsa on March 21. The Bears then host SMU and Laredo CC in their second doubleheader of the season on March 22. Baylor continues the home swing by welcoming Memphis to Waco on March 28. BU’s final matches before Big 12 play will be another doubleheader featuring Abilene Christian and Prairie View A&M on March 30.
The Bears will open Big 12 play on the road as they travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU on April 1, before returning home to face No. 23 Texas Tech on April 5.
BU steps outside league play to host South Florida on April 6, before heading on the road to face Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, April 11 and 13, respectively. Baylor will finish the season at home on April 16 when it hosts Texas.
The 2014 Big 12 Championships will be held in Fort Worth on April 25-27, while the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championship will be held at select campus sites, May 10-11. The final 16 teams in the NCAA Championship will compete in Athens, Ga., on May 16-20. Following the team portion, the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be May 21-26 at the same location.