Men's Tennis Releases 2011 Spring Schedule
Sept. 14, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After recording the most wins in school history with a 25-9 finish in the spring of 2010, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team has announced its 2011 spring schedule that features 18 teams that finished in the top 50 of the International Tennis Association final rankings last season.
Head coach Dennis Emery and associate head coach Cedric Kauffmann have put together one of the toughest schedules in the country. Kentucky will play a total of 18 teams that ranked in the top 50 of the ITA rankings last season, including top-10 finishers, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State. In all, UK plays nine teams that finished in the top 25 last year and 13 that were listed in the top 40.
“We pride ourselves on playing the toughest schedule in the country and this year is no exception,” said Emery, who enters his 28th season as the Kentucky head man. “In fact, I think this year’s schedule is tougher than last year because of dangerous road matches at Auburn, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt.”
The Wildcats will welcome some of the best teams in the country to Lexington in Tennessee, Georgia and Ohio State – all of which finished the 2010 season in the top 11 – coming to play that Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex. UK also will travel to play traditional powers Virginia, Florida and Illinois, three programs that are consistently in the top 15 in the country.
Part of UK’s hard schedule is played in the Southeastern Conference, arguably the toughest tennis conference in America. Ten of the 12 conference schools, including Kentucky, finished the 2010 season in the top 50 of the ITA rankings, with four schools ranking in the top 12 and five in the top 20. This year, the SEC could be ever stronger with the two schools that were not in the final top-50 ranking last season, Arkansas and South Carolina, expected to improve.
“Last year, the SEC was clearly the best conference in the country and appears to be even stronger this year with Ole Miss regaining its top-five place in the rankings, Auburn set to move up to the top 15 and Mississippi State to the top 25,” said Emery, who recorded his 500th win last season as the UK head coach and has 598 wins all-time. “In fact, the SEC projects to have nine teams in the final top-30 rankings this year.”
UK will play all 11 SEC schools in 2011, including Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and LSU at home and Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt on the road. In non-conference play, UK will play nine teams that ranked in the top-50 final rankings last year, including Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Boise State and Indiana.
In the spring of 2010, Kentucky played a total of 34 matches after advancing to the ITA National Indoors and the NCAA Sweet 16. Of the 34 matches, Kentucky played 25 matches against ranked foes, 12 against teams ranked No. 16 or better and eight against top-nine teams.
“Last year’s schedule reflected deep runs into the National Indoors and the NCAA Tournament,” Emery said. “Hopefully, this regular season schedule will prepare us for similar runs in 2011 post season events.”
UK will play in 15 tournaments this fall to get prepared for the spring season, including hosting the USTA/ITA Regional Indoors on Oct. 21-25.