Men's Tennis: Wildcats Release 2010 Spring Schedule
Jan. 13, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Ranking among one of the toughest schedules in the country, the No. 14 Kentucky men’s tennis team has released its 2010 spring schedule that includes a total of 20 teams ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I preseason top 75.
In addition to playing a total of 20 teams ranked in the preseason poll, the Wildcats will also face off against seven of the nation’s top-15 teams (No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 7 Georgia, No. 10 Mississippi, No. 11 Florida and No. 15 Illinois). In all, 17 of the Wildcats’ opponents are ranked in the top 50 (No. 16 Wake Forest, No. 18 Alabama, No. 21 Miami, No. 23 Auburn, No. 27 Virginia Tech, No. 29 LSU, No. 31 Minnesota, No. 33 Michigan, No. 36 South Carolina and No. 48 Indiana). UK will play three other teams ranked in the top 75: No. 53 Arkansas, No. 55 Vanderbilt and No. 67 Mississippi State.
“Each year we seek to develop one of the toughest schedules, if not the toughest schedule in the country,” said head coach Dennis Emery, now in his 28th season as the Wildcats head man. “It is a key component in the development of our players on a physical and emotional level.”
Part of the reason for the very tough schedule is the always competitive Southeastern Conference. Eleven of the 12 schools in the SEC are ranked in the top 55 in the poll. Mississippi State is the only school outside of the top 55, sitting at 67th in the preseason poll. The SEC has three teams in the top 10 and nine teams in the top 40.
Coach Emery and associate head coach Cedric Kauffmann will host plenty of talented teams at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center this spring for local tennis fans to watch. Headlining the home schedule are two top-two teams in Virginia and Mississippi. The Cavaliers will be the first team the Wildcats will play at home in February, hosting Virginia on Feb. 6 in a double header with Eastern Kentucky. Ole Miss comes to Lexington as part of a two-game SEC home stand to start off the SEC portion of the Wildcats schedule. The Rebels will play in Lexington on March 7.
Other ranked teams that travel to the Commonwealth this spring are Michigan (Jan. 30), Wake Forest (Jan. 31) and Minnesota (Jan. 31), who will all participate in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. Kentucky will play Michigan in the opening round with a chance to advance to the championship game against the winner of Wake Forest and Minnesota. The winner of the kickoff event will be invited to play in the Feb. 12-15 ITA National Team Indoor Championships at Virginia.
Also making the trip to Lexington this spring are nationally ranked Auburn (March 23), South Carolina (April 2), Florida (April 4), Illinois (April 7), and Vanderbilt (April 17). The Wildcats also have been designated as the home of this year’s SEC tournament which is sure to bring high talent to the Bluegrass. The tournament will be played April 22-25. Admission is free to all home tennis events, except for postseason play.
The Wildcats also will have to play exceptional tennis on the road, traveling to play against nine ranked teams. UK will play three preseason top-10 teams on the road with trips to Ohio State, Georgia and Tennessee. The Wildcats also will go on the road to face Virginia Tech (Jan. 27), Indiana and Western Kentucky in Bloomington (Feb. 13), Samford and Belmont in Birmingham, Ala. (Feb. 28), Miami (March 19), Alabama (March 28), LSU (April 9) and Arkansas (April 11).
“This schedule is a real challenge for this team and Cedric Kauffmann and myself are anxious to see how we respond as a team.” Emery said.
The Wildcats will kick off their fall schedule at the SEC Coaches’ Indoor Championships Jan. 15-18 at the Racquet Club of the South in Norcross, Ga. Singles and doubles action will be played all four days at the tournament with the singles and doubles finals being played on Monday, Jan. 18.
Men’s National Team Rankings
Administered by the ITA
NCAA Division I Tennis
January 5, 2010
1 USC (46)
2 Virginia (5)
3 Ohio State
5 Tennessee (1)
8 Texas (1)
12 Texas A&M
13 Florida State
16 Wake Forest
22 Boise State
25 Oklahoma State