Aug. 14, 2008
The Tennessee men's tennis team again tackles one of the nation's toughest schedules as head coach Sam Winterbotham announced the 2008-09 slate Thursday. The schedule features 10 matches against teams that made the NCAA tournament last season, five of which advanced to the round of 16.
"I'm really excited about upcoming year," Winterbotham said. "We have some great matches that will challenge us both home and away. I'm looking forward to competing in the tournaments on our schedule.The Blue-Gray Intercollegiate, the ITA kickoff weekend and hopefully the national team indoor will prepare us for a run in the postseason."
The Vols first tournament takes them to Charlottesville, Va., for the UVA Fall Invitational, Sept. 12-14. The biggest tournament of the fall portion is the D'Novo All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., from Oct. 3-12. The next weekend, UT travels to Lexington, Ky., for the ITA Southeast Indoor Regionals. Players advancing in the regionals advance to the ITA Indoor Championships, Nov. 6-9 in Charlottesville. Tennessee's final tournament of 2008 is the Seminole Fall Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla., Nov. 1-3.
After returning from winter break, the team travels back to Lexington for the SEC Coaches' Indoor Championships.
The Vols open dual match play as one of 16 hosts of the newly formatted ITA Kickoff Weekend. UT joins Harvard, Drake and Louisville in the Knoxville Regional Jan. 31-Feb. 1. The Vols face Harvard the first day at 10 a.m., with winners and losers pairing up on Feb. 1. The 16 regional winners then advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships Feb. 13-16 in Chicago.
Tennessee hits the road for the first time Feb. 7, traveling to Champaign, Ill., to face Big 10 tennis power Illinois. UT defeated Illinois 4-3 last season in Knoxville. The Fighting Illini rebounded to finish the season 20-9 and advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the seventh consecutive season.
UT's final two tune-ups for the SEC season are home matches Feb. 21 against Kentucky and Feb. 26 versus Ohio State. The match against Kentucky is considered a non-conference match and does not count toward either team's SEC record. The two teams' meeting on April 10 in Lexington counts toward the SEC record.
Ohio State finished 2008 with a 35-2 record. The Buckeyes accomplished this record with just one senior among their top six singles players.
The Big Orange open SEC play with a trip to Mississippi State (March 6) and Ole Miss (March 8). The Vols host their first SEC match of the season when Florida visits March 13. UT will be looking to revenge last season's heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Gators in Gainesville. Tennessee also hosts South Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama and Auburn in SEC play.
UT takes a break from SEC play to compete in the Blue-Gray Intercollegiate Tennis Classic on March 19-22 in Montgomery, Ala.
The Vols' final regular season match is April 18 at two-time defending National Champion Georgia. The Bulldogs went 29-3 last season, but one of those three losses was at the hands of a determined Tennessee team. UT's 4-3 win ended Georgia's 40-match SEC win streak.
The SEC tournament takes place in Auburn, Ala., April 23-26. The NCAA Championships are being hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, May 14-25.
UT was one of the youngest teams in the nation last season as its singles lineup consisted of four freshmen, one sophomore and a senior. Despite the youth, Tennessee put together a 23-4 record and advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA tournament.
|2008-09 Tennessee Tennis Schedule|
|Sept. 12-14||UVA Fall Invitational||Charlottesville, Va.||All Day|
|Oct. 3-12||D'Novo All-American Championships||Tulsa, Okla.||All Day|
|Oct. 16-20||ITA Southeast Individual Indoor Regionals||Lexington, Ky.||All Day|
|Nov. 1-3||Seminole Fall Invitational||Tallahassee, Fla.||All Day|
|Nov. 6-9||ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships||Charlottesville, Va.||All Day|
|Jan. 16-19||SEC Coaches' Indoor Championships||Lexington, Ky.||All Day|
|JAN. 31||HARVARD (ITA KICKOFF WEEKEND)||KNOXVILLE||10 A.M.|
|FEB. 1||DRAKE/LOUISVILLE (ITA KICKOFF WEEKEND)||KNOXVILLE||TBA|
|Feb. 7||Illinois||Champaign, Ill.||TBA|
|Feb. 13-16||ITA National Team Indoor Championships||Chicago, Ill.||TBA|
|FEB. 21||KENTUCKY#||KNOXVILLE||1 P.M.|
|FEB. 26||OHIO STATE||KNOXVILLE||5 P.M.|
|March 6||*Mississippi State||Starkville, Miss.||TBA|
|March 8||*Ole Miss||Oxford, Miss.||1 p.m.|
|MARCH 15||*SOUTH CAROLINA||KNOXVILLE||1 P.M.|
|March 19-22||Blue-Gray Intercollegiate Tennis Classic||Montgomery, Ala.||TBA|
|March 29||*LSU||Baton Rouge, La.||1 p.m.|
|APRIL 5||*AUBURN||KNOXVILLE||1 P.M.|
|April 10||*Kentucky||Lexington, Ky.||TBA|
|April 12||*Vanderbilt||Nashville, Tenn.||1 p.m.|
|April 18||*Georgia||Athens, Ga.||TBA|
|April 23-26||2009 SEC Men's Tennis Championships||Auburn, Ala.||All Day|
|May 8-9||NCAA Regionals||TBA||TBA|
|May 14-25||NCAA Championships||College Station, Texas||All Day|
|ALL CAPS - Home events|
|* - SEC regular-season match|
|all times Eastern|
|#-Does not count towards SEC record|