OXFORD, Miss. – Fourteen teams who finished ranked inside the top 25 last year highlight the Ole Miss men’s tennis team’s 2013-14 schedule.
Led by All-Americans Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz, the Rebels ended the 2013 season ranked No. 10 in the nation, earned their 20th consecutive NCAA appearance and won their 10th SEC West title. In addition, Ole Miss finished the 2013 season third in attendance and has been ranked among the top 10 in the nation in attendance five of the last six years.
In 2014, Rebel fans can look forward to the ITA Kick-off Weekend, which will take place in Oxford at the Gillom Sports Center in January, as well as eight other home matches, including six SEC contests and national power Southern Cal. Admission to all home matches is free.
“The SEC is the toughest conference in the nation in tennis, and it always ensures a great schedule,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We’re very excited about this year’s team, and they are working hard. We are looking forward to this challenging schedule.”
The Rebels will begin the fall season Sept. 20 in Nashville, Tenn., at the SEC Coaches Championship. Other tournaments this fall include the ITA All-American Championships, the ITA Southern Regional Championships and the ITA/USTA National Indoor Championships as well as several USTA Futures.
The spring season will begin Jan. 17-20 with the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta. For the fourth time in six years, the Rebels will host the ITA Kick-Off, welcoming Michigan, Clemson and Illinois to the Gillom Sports Center Jan. 25-26.
After the ITA National Team Indoor in Houston in February, the Rebels move outdoors with a trip to Waco, Texas to face SMU (Feb. 22) and Baylor (Feb. 23).
Conference play starts Feb. 28 with the 10-time SEC West Champion Rebels hosting Auburn followed by Alabama on March 2.
The Rebels will then hit the road for a tough slate of matches, beginning with Tennessee March 7) and Georgia on March 9. The road trip concludes with stops at Vanderbilt and Kentucky, both of whom also finished in the top 20 last year.
In recent years, the Rebels have welcomed some of the nation’s top teams outside the SEC, including Virginia, Baylor and Ohio State. Fans will want to mark their calendars in 2014 for a mid-week tilt against Southern Cal, who will make their first trip to Oxford on March 19. The Trojans won the NCAA title four straight years from 2009-12.
The Rebels continue a four-match homestand with Arkansas (March 21), LSU (March 23) and arch-rival Mississippi State (March 30) to close out the month of March. April kicks off with matches at South Carolina (April 4) and Florida (April 6). The regular season wraps up April 11, as the Rebels host Texas A&M.
This year’s SEC Championship will be in Nashville, Tenn., April 16-20. The NCAA first and second rounds take place May 10-11 at sites to be determined, while the NCAA Final 16 is back in Athens, Ga., May 16-20.
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