Head coach Chase Hodges has announced the spring 2014 schedule for the Georgia Gwinnett men’s tennis team, which includes many NAIA Top-25 programs and some of the top NCAA schools at each level.
Georgia Gwinnett is in its first season eligible for national rankings and postseason play, and competed against some of the nation’s top programs this past fall in the individual season.
In the spring, the Grizzlies will tackle Division I opponents Tennessee Tech and South Carolina State, plus some of the nation’s top Division II teams in second-ranked Armstrong Atlantic (Ga.), seventh-ranked Lander (S.C.) and 24th-ranked USC Aiken (S.C.).
The 2012 Division III champion Emory Eagles are on the schedule, as are current Division III top-ten’s Kenyon (Ohio) and Middlebury (Vt.).
Some of the top NAIA challenges include Xavier University of Louisiana, which finished fifth in last spring’s rankings, plus No. 12 Belhaven (Miss.) and No. 13 William Carey (Miss.).
The 19-match season begins Feb. 5 with a 2 p.m. home date against Dalton State (Ga.).
“We have assembled an extremely challenging schedule against all levels of collegiate tennis for our first season competing for postseason titles,” said head coach Chase Hodges. “We are very excited to begin the pursuit of our team goals as we have very high expectations for our program. We have a talented group of players that will fight for every point and we can’t wait to get started.”
The Grizzlies will play seven matches at home in Lawrenceville, 10 on the road and two more in a neutral setting.
The Independent/Unaffiliated tournament takes place April 25-26 in New Orleans, La., and the NAIA national championships are May 13-17 in Mobile, Ala., for the nation’s final 24 teams.
Hodges’ squad went 11-1 in its inaugural season a year ago. The Grizzlies then experienced strong success during the fall individual season and placed three players in the ITA’s top 50 singles rankings plus one doubles pair in the top 25 doubles rankings.
All home matches will take place at the GGC Tennis Facility, which sits just north of the GGC campus off Collins Hill Road. Admission is free.