OXFORD, Miss. – The 2013 season has just ended, but preparations for the 2014 season have already started for the Ole Miss men’s tennis team, with returning players scattered this summer playing in Futures and with the announcement Thursday that the Rebels were one of 15 sites selected for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kick-Off Weekend.
The Rebels, who ended the 2013 season ranked No. 10 in the nation, will welcome Clemson, Illinois and Michigan to Oxford January 25-26, 2014. Matches will take place at the Gillom Sports Center.
This marks the fourth time for the Rebels to host this event, which began in 2009 as a prelude to the ITA National Team Indoor. Teams are competing for one of 15 spots in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship to be hosted by Texas A&M University Feb. 14-17, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
As the No. 1 seed in the four-team regional, Ole Miss will face the No. 4 seed Michigan in the first round. No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Illinois will meet in the other match. All three visiting teams finished the 2013 season ranked among the top 30.
Clemson posted a final ranking of No. 21 and a 19-8 overall record. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Championships second round.
Illinois ended the year ranked No. 24 in the nation with a 17-11 overall record and also advanced to the NCAA second round.
Michigan concluded the 2013 season ranked No. 26 with a 16-10 record and advanced to the Big Ten Tournament championship match for the first time in program history. They participated in the NCAA Championships.
The other 14 host sites are: Virginia, UCLA, Georgia, Ohio State, USC, Tennessee, Duke, Pepperdine, Kentucky, Baylor, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt and Florida.
In addition to two-time All-American Nik Scholtz, the Rebels will return All-SEC honoree William Kallberg, Stefan Lindmark and Johan Backstrom, from the 2013 lineup