OXFORD, Miss. – With five of the top six returning from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, the Rebels 2013-14 schedule features several top tournaments as well as 12 teams who made the NCAA Championships a year ago.
Highlights include 12 home matches, including six league contests and non-conference matches against 2012 NCAA participants Memphis and VCU. Admission to all home matches is free.
“Once again we have a very challenging schedule,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “In addition to the SEC schedule, we have some great out of conference matches versus Memphis, Tulane and VCU, all programs that should make the NCAA Tournament this year. I feel that challenging the girls with a schedule like this will make them better and prepare us for the postseason.”
The team will kick off the year with eight tournaments beginning with a return trip to the Duke Fab Four Invitational Sept. 13-15. The fall slate also includes the Country Club of Little Rock Invitational, ITA All-American Championships, Miami Hurricane Invitational, ITA Southern Regionals, Roberta Allison Invitational, ITA National Indoor and the Dickie V Intercollegiate Classic.
“The fall semester features some individual competition against the nation’s best and gives our kids a great opportunity to establish an individual national ranking in singles and doubles,” Beyers said.
The Rebels will begin the spring season Jan. 18-20 at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, before welcoming Jackson State to Oxford on Jan. 22 in their first dual match of the year.
Ole Miss will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, which serves as the first and second rounds of the National Team Indoor, Jan. 25-26. The winner of both matches advances to the Final 16 Feb. 7-10 in Charlottesville, Va. The Rebels will meet 2012 NCAA participant Oklahoma in the first round and then either William & Mary or host Alabama in the second match.
Early non-conference matches at home also include Tulane on Feb. 1 and a doubleheader with Tennessee State and Lipscomb on Feb. 21. Memphis, who earned their first NCAA Tournament win in program history in 2012, comes to town Feb. 23.
For the second year in a row, the Rebels will kick off Southeastern Conference play with SEC West foes Auburn (Feb. 28) and Alabama (March 2), this time on the road.
Following the road trip to Alabama, the Rebels return home for a five-match homestand beginning March 7 with Tennessee and Georgia (March 9), who reached the NCAA quarterfinals last year.
A mid-week tilt against VCU (March 12) followed by Vanderbilt (March 14) and Kentucky (March 16) closes out the homestand.
The Rebels close out March with three straight on the road, including Arkansas (March 21), LSU (March 23) and Mississippi State (March 30).
The last regular season home weekend includes South Carolina (April 4) and Florida (April 6), who ended the 2012 season ranked No. 2 in the nation.
The final road trip of the regular season takes the Rebels to 2012 NCAA Finalist Texas A&M (April 11) followed by Missouri in Columbia on April 13.
The Rebels will return to Missouri for the SEC Championship April 16-20. The NCAA first and second rounds will be held May 9-10 at 16 sites across the country. The NCAA Team Final 16 returns to Athens, Ga., May 16-20, followed by the NCAA Individual Championships May 21-26.
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