Aug. 31, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Recently named University of Kentucky men’s tennis head coach Cedric Kauffmann has released his team’s 2012-13 schedule, which features some challenging yet exciting competition in both the fall and spring seasons.
“We are very excited about our 2012-13 schedule,” Kauffmann said. “We have some great tournaments this fall, which are really going to test and prepare our team for what will be a challenging slate in the spring. It is important that we take advantage of these tournaments this fall. We played very well in the fall last year and it served as a spring board for our season. We need that to happen again this season.”
The Wildcats will compete in 10 fall tournaments to begin the schedule, spanning trips to seven states, while also playing in two in-state tournaments. Tournament results will only count to individual records as no team events are held in the fall.
Kentucky will start the slate at the Southern Intercollegiate in Athens, Ga., from Sept. 7-10, before splitting squads to compete in both the Illinois Invitational and Duke Invitational from Sept. 14-16. UK will play in its first in-state tournament from Sept. 21-23 at the Louisville Invitational, before those that qualify will play in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., Sept. 27-Oct. 7.
After the annual All-American Championships are completed, the Wildcats will regroup and play in another annual event, the United State Tennis Association/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Championships in Memphis, Tenn., from Oct. 18-22. The regional indoor event serves as a qualifying tournament for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., from Nov. 8-11.
Those that do not qualify for the National Indoor Championships will finish the season with three tournaments in the Collegiate Clay Court Tournament (Nov. 2-4) in Orlando, Fla., Bulldog Scramble (Nov. 9-11) and Louisville Invite (Nov. 9-11).
Kentucky will compete in one final individual tournament before the spring season begins when it travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Southeastern Conferences Coaches’ Indoor Championships. UK hosted the event last season with then-junior Anthony Rossi becoming the first player in 23 years to win the singles title. The event will take place from Jan. 18-21.
“Another important aspect of the fall is how our upperclassmen show leadership,” Kauffmann said. “We have several young players this season that could really help this team, but we need the guys at the top to show them how we go out our business here at Kentucky.”
Kentucky will jump right into the spring dual-match season two days later as it begins one of the most difficult schedules in the nation. Overall, 19 of Kentucky’s 24 opponents finished the 2012 season ranked in the ITA team rankings, including 11 teams that finished the season in the top 25. Five of the 11 top-25 teams will make their way to Lexington, Ky., to play at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex, while UK will face the other six in true road matches.
The competitive spring slate is filled with stiff conference competition and talented non-conference foes. With the addition of Texas A&M, the SEC is again considered one of the best tennis conferences in the nation. Overall, 12 of the 13 SEC men’s tennis programs finished the 2012 season ranked in the ITA team rankings, including eight in the top 30 in the nation. Kentucky won the SEC Championship last season for only the second time in school history.
Kentucky will play all 12 conference foes in 2013, squaring off against Arkansas (March 1), LSU (March 3), Tennessee (March 22), Georgia (March 24), Alabama (March 29) and Auburn (March 31) in Lexington. UK will face Texas A&M (March 10), Ole Miss (March 15), Mississippi State (March 17), Vanderbilt (April 6), Florida (April 12) and South Carolina (April 14) on the road.
Out of conference, UK will face eight opponents that finished the 2012 season ranked in the ITA team rankings. Including the season opener on Jan. 23 at Indiana, who finished the season ranked 22nd in the nation last season, Kentucky will face 2012 ranked foes Texas (Jan. 25-26), Michigan State (Jan. 25-26), Oklahoma (Feb. 3), Illinois (Feb. 6), Notre Dame (Feb. 12), Baylor (March 8) and Ohio State (April 3).
Texas, South Carolina and Michigan State will make their way to Lexington for the 2013 ITA Kickoff Weekend, which UK will be hosting for the fourth consecutive season. UK will be the No. 1 seed in the Lexington Regional and will host No. 2-seeded Texas, No. 3-seeded South Carolina and No. 4-seeded Michigan State.
The first round of the event will feature Kentucky against Michigan State and Texas against South Carolina with the winners from each match meeting in the second round for a chance to advance to the ITA National Indoor Team Championships on Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, Wash. The University of Washington is hosting the national event and automatically qualifies as one of 16 teams to make the national field.
After the regular season is complete, Kentucky will travel to Oxford, Miss., for the 2013 SEC Tournament from April 18-21. The NCAA first and second rounds will be played the weekend of May 10-12 at various campus locations, while the NCAA Tournament and NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be played in Champaign, Ill., May 16-27.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow “@UKMensTennis” on Twitter or like “Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team” on Facebook.