STARKVILLE, Miss. – Six fall tournaments, seven road tilts and 13 matches at the friendly confines of the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre highlight the 2014-15 Mississippi State men’s tennis schedule, announced Friday.
The 91st season in MSU men’s tennis history will open at the Southeastern Conference Fall Classic in Gainesville, Fla. State will follow up with a trip to Tulsa, Okla., for the 2014 ITA All-American Championships and then to Auburn, Ala., for ITA Southern Region Indoor Championships. The Bulldogs will round out the fall with the ITA National Indoor Championships in New York, N.Y., and two USTA Futures events in Birmingham, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla.
MSU will kick off the spring season much like they did 2014, with a Saturday doubleheader against Jackson State and Alabama State at the Pitts Tennis Centre. The early part of the spring schedule will also include a trip to Berkeley, Calif., for the 2015 ITA Kickoff Weekend, hosted by the Cal Bears. The Bulldogs will open against North Carolina State and will close out the weekend against either Cal or Harvard.
Should the Bulldogs advance through the weekend, they will go to Chicago, Ill., for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship on Feb. 13-15. State has reached the ITA National Indoors the last two seasons.
Following the ITA National Indoors, MSU will head to Montgomery, Ala., for the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic on Feb. 20-22. The Bulldogs will stay in the state of Alabama to open their 2015 SEC slate, as they face the Alabama Crimson Tide on Feb. 27 in Tuscaloosa. MSU’s first SEC home match will be against in-state rival Ole Miss on March 5.
MSU’s other home conference matches include Arkansas, Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina. SEC away opponents for State are Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
The 2015 SEC Championships will take place in College Station, Texas, on April 15-19.
The 2015 NCAA First and Second Rounds will take place on May 8-10, followed by the 2015 NCAA Championships (Team and Individual) from May 14-25 in Waco, Texas.
2014-15 marks the first season under new head coach Matt Roberts, who was an assistant for State for the past two seasons. His first campaign as a collegiate head coach will feature matches again 14 participants in the 2014 NCAA Championship, including five squads that advanced to the Round of 16 (California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee). The schedule also includes two conference tournament champions in Alcorn State (SWAC) and Texas A&M (SEC) and the reigning SEC regular seasons champions, Georgia.
"We are very excited for the schedule we have this upcoming season,” Roberts said. “We will get to see where we are in the fall with three tough collegiate events and then our players will have opportunities to pick up ATP points with the ITF futures. Like every year in the SEC, the spring season will be challenging week after week and a great way to develop our players"
The Bulldogs are coming off a 2013-14 season where they captured 19 wins, which is tied for ninth in the MSU record book. Of those 19, 13 were triumphs against ranked opponents, including defeating fourth-ranked Georgia for the first time since 2005. A 7-5 Southeastern Conference record sealed a fourth-straight season of .500 or better in the rigorous league. All of those accomplishments combined to give MSU its fourth-straight, and 23rd overall, appearance in the NCAA Championship.
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