OXFORD, Miss. – With six of the top seven returning and a talented recruiting class, the Ole Miss women’s tennis team is excited to announce the 2014-15 schedule, featuring a competitive fall slate of individual tournaments and 14 NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago in the spring.
FALL SLATE The Rebels will kick off the year sending a few players to the Duke Fab Four Invitational Sept. 12-14 followed by another group to the Country Club of Little Rock Invitational Sept. 19-21.
Rebel fans will have an opportunity to preview the spring season this fall, as the team will host the Ole Miss Invitational Oct. 24-26 with Georgia, Vanderbilt and Texas Tech coming to Oxford. The Rebels will face all three teams in the spring dual match season.
“We are excited about hosting our own event this fall,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “We’ve got some great teams coming and it should be a great weekend of competition for the fans to see our team against some of the best players in college tennis.”
Other fall tournaments include the ITA Riviera All-American Championships, the ITA Southern Regional Championships, the Roberta Alison Classic and the USTA/ITA National Indoor.
ALOHA The Rebels will say Aloha to start the spring, as they head to Hawaii for two matches against Hawaii and Washington.
Upon returning from Hawaii, the Rebels will host Jackson State in a doubleheader for their home opener Jan. 25. Additional home non-conference matches include Tulane and William & Mary. Early non-conference road tests include two road trips to face 2013 NCAA Tournament teams Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Rice.
“We’ve developed a good rivalry with Texas Tech the last couple of years,” Beyers said. “The last two times we played them, it went down to 4-3. Oklahoma State and Rice are top 25 teams and will give us an opportunity to put ourselves in a good position in the rankings and get one foot into the NCAA Tournament early.”
THE SEC As is always the case, the SEC will be loaded again in 2015. The Rebels will welcome seven league teams to the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center, including top-10 ranked Alabama and Texas A&M. Other home conference matches include Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Missouri and Mississippi State.
“This might be the toughest that the SEC has ever been. Every team is getting better,” Beyers said. “I don’t see how we cannot have 11 or maybe 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament. There will probably be several teams in the top 10 and even more in the top 25. We are looking forward to playing a lot of great matches and proving ourselves as one of the top teams.”
The SEC Tournament will be April 15-19 in Columbia, South Carolina. The NCAA Team First and Second Rounds kick off May 8 across 16 campus sites, while the NCAA Final 16 will be in Waco, Texas for the first time ever.
“Obviously we’ll miss Caroline Rohde-Moe (graduated), but we have a great group coming back, and I am really excited about this recruiting class with Arianne (Hartono) and Natalie (Suk),” Beyers said. “Both of them will make an immediate impact and leave their mark here as far as their careers go.”
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