Aug 23, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The path to the Vanderbilt women's tennis team's 20th-straight NCAA appearance became much clearer today, as Head Coach Geoff Macdonald has officially released the Commodore's 2013-14 schedule.
The season begins September 27 when the `Dores travel to Greenville, S.C. for the Furman Fall Classic. The conference schedule starts February 28 when Arkansas comes to town.
"Our philosophy of scheduling is to play the best non-conference schedule possible to get us ready for the conference," said Macdonald.
He continued on the strength of the Southeastern Conference.
"The SEC is the best conference top to bottom. Sometimes you get the feeling that winning the SEC Tournament might be more difficult than winning NCAAs in the grind of the back-to-back matches you must play to do it."
The NCAA Regional will be held from May 9-11 (site to be determined) with the NCAA Championships running from May 15-26 in Athens, Ga.
Last season the Commodores fell in the second round, to the host Clemson, in the NCAA Regional Championships.
The June Stewart Invitational highlights the fall season for Vanderbilt. The `Dores will host William & Mary, Indiana and Georgia Tech at the Currey Tennis Center over the three-day tournament beginning on October 11.
"Hosting this invitational means a lot to us," Macdonald said. "It is named after a huge figure in the world of sports information and Vanderbilt Athletics. She is in the CoSIDA Hall of Fame and was an Associate Athletic Director here. This tournament is a great way to honor her and her great career here at Vanderbilt."
Throughout the fall the Commodores will also make trips to the Riviera All-Americans (Sep. 28-6), Ohio Valley Regionals (Oct. 17-20), USTA Invitational (Oct. 24-27) and the Roberta Alison Invitational (Nov. 1-3).
Macdonald and his team kick off the spring season January 17 when they head to Coral Gables, Fla., for the Miami Invitational.
Vanderbilt will then head out west to Lincoln, Neb., for the ITA Kick-off weekend. The third-seeded `Dores will take on No. 2 Texas Tech, while the host and top-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers take on No. 4 Georgia Tech. The team to finish 2-0 on the weekend will advance to the National Team Indoors (Feb. 7-10).
"Last year we did a great job to win and make it to National Indoors," Macdonald said in regards to the Kick-off weekend.
"We lost close matches to teams that made it to the final 16, some 4-3's that could have gone our way, but we were a young team then," he continued. "This year with that experience under our belt, if we make it through the Kick-Off, which I believe we can, we could go a long way in Indoors. "
The dual-match schedule begins February 2 in Evanston, Ill. against Northwestern. The non-conference dual slate continues with matches on the road against Baylor (Feb. 15) and Texas (Feb. 16), and at home against Memphis (Feb. 21) and Pepperdine (Feb. 23).
The conference schedule commences with two at home against Arkansas (Feb. 28) and LSU (Mar. 2) before heading on the road for four matches against Missouri (Mar. 7), Texas A&M (Mar. 9), Ole Miss (Mar. 14) and Mississippi State (Mar. 16).
Things pick right back up at the Currey Tennis Center on March 21 when the Vanderbilt host's in-state rival Tennessee. Then it is four-straight in Nashville against Georgia (Mar. 23), Alabama (Mar. 28), Auburn (Mar. 30) and Kentucky (Apr. 6).
The `Dores close their regular season with trips to Florida (Apr. 11) and South Carolina (Apr. 13) before heading to Columbia, Mo., for the SEC Tournament from April 17-20.
"We are going to have an exciting fall and spring seasons," Macdonald exclaimed. "We are a very young team, with only one senior. I expect us to continue to develop our elite championship culture, which we were able to start bringing back last year. This year we have incredible depth which is a great problem to have going into the season."