Sept. 14, 2012
WACO, Texas - Baylor men's tennis head coach Matt Knoll revealed his team's 2012-13 schedule on Friday, headlined by 16 home dual matches and contests versus nine opponents ranked in the top 25 of last season's final ITA poll.
"We're trying to play the best competition that we can," Knoll said. "Our 2012-13 schedule features some of the best teams in the country coming to Waco. It'll be great for our guys and our fans to come out and see the very best in college tennis."
After making their 14th straight NCAA Championship appearance last season, the Bears will start off the fall tournament season by hosting the 12th-annual Baylor-HEB Invitational at the Hurd Tennis Center on Sept. 21-23. Baylor will continue its fall schedule with six players heading to the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. The tournament kicks off with prequalifying matches starting on Sept.29, while the main draw is set to begin on Oct. 4.
"In the fall we're playing in the All-American which is the biggest fall tournament of the year in addition to hosting our tournament that is always very strong," Knoll said. "It's all about development and helping the guys get better by playing good opponents."
In the month of October, the Bears will travel to the Mansfield Futures event on Oct. 12-21. BU will then take a trip to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships on Oct. 20-23.
The Bears will welcome back former players for the annual Alumni Match at the Hurd Tennis Center on Nov. 3.
For those who qualify at the regional level, the next fall event will be the ITA National Indoor Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. on Nov. 8-11. Other Baylor players will go to the Southern California Intercollegiate in Los Angeles, Cailf., which runs at the same time as the National Indoor event.
To open the spring portion of its schedule, BU will start off on the road for a match against Hawaii in Honolulu, on Jan. 12. The Bears then travel back out west for the Sherwood Collegiate Cup in Los Angeles, Calif., Jan. 18-21. Baylor returns to play its first home match versus SMU on Jan. 25.
"Our spring schedule is a little unbalanced, leaning towards home matches this year which is great for us," Knoll said. "Certainly on paper UCLA and Virginia are the one-and-two best teams in the nation, so it's nice to have that kind of level of play for our fans to watch."
In February, the Bears open at Tulsa, which finished 17th in the nation last season, on Feb. 3, before beginning a three-match home stretch that starts off with Purdue on Feb. 9. Then the team will host its first double-header of the season against UT- Pan American and UT-Arlington on Feb. 16. To finish out the month of February, the squad travels to Jacksonville, Fla., to take on North Florida on Feb. 21 and to Gainesville, Fla., to play last season's 12th-ranked team, the Florida Gators on Feb. 23.
A five-match home stretch will open the month of March beginning with the second double-header of the season versus Laredo CC and Abilene Christian on March 2. The Bears then face a challenge of three-straight nationally ranked opponents from a year ago beginning with the seventh-ranked Kentucky Wildcats on March 8. The third-ranked UCLA Bruins on March 10 and second-ranked Virginia on March 11 complete the home stand for BU.
The Bears then head east for a road test at Mississippi, which finished 14th last year, on March 14. On March 18, Baylor is back at home to play a four-match home stand opening with Nebraska. The rest of the home slate includes No. 13 California on March 26, Memphis on March 28 and the final non-conference match of the season against St. John's on April 4.
Baylor opens the Big 12 season on the road in Lubbock, Texas versus Texas Tech on April 7, before returning home for matches against Oklahoma, last season's Big 12 champion, on April 12 and Oklahoma State on April 14. BU will head south on I-35 to Austin for a match against Texas on April 17. The Bears wrap up the regular season at home versus TCU on April 21.
The University of Oklahoma will host the Big 12 Championships in Norman, Okla., on April 26-29, while the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championship will be held on May 10-12 at selected campus sites. The final rounds of the NCAA Championship plus the singles and doubles portion of the event will be hosted by the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill., beginning on May 16 and running through May 27.
The Bears return seven members from last year's squad that went 19-12 and reached the round of 16 of the NCAA Championship.