FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas men’s tennis team will hit the ground running in 2015 as it faces a challenging schedule from its first event in January, according to the spring portion of the 2014-15 schedule, released by head coach Andy Jackson.
Jackson enters his second spring season as head coach alongside assistant coach Nestor Briceno who is also going into year two at Arkansas. Last season, Jackson led the Razorbacks to three league wins, a top 15 victory and multiple SEC weekly honors, the first such season with any of these feats in over five years.
Over the course of the spring 2015 season, the Razorbacks will face 16 teams who were in the Top 50 in the NCAA rankings released on Jan. 6, 2015. Of those 16, 12 teams are SEC foes.
For its first event of 2015, Arkansas heads to Austin, Texas to compete in the Texas Individual Invitational.
“We are going to play in the Texas Individual Invitational and it won’t count for team results,” Coach Jackson said. “But Texas has a chance to win the NCAA championship in 2015, so playing in that tournament gives us a chance to immediately play against SEC-level competition. I think it’s going to help us going forward.”
After facing tough competition in Texas, Razorback men’s tennis will host three home matches. First, Arkansas will take on Mercer in a doubleheader on Jan. 16. Two days later, the Razorbacks face No. 9 Texas and the next day, Nebraska-Omaha. Closing January, Arkansas travels to the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Norman, Oklahoma to play No. 34 Northwestern and either No. 2 Oklahoma or No. 61 University of New Mexico.
Beginning February on the road against No. 25 Oklahoma State (Feb. 8), the Razorbacks then return to Fayetteville for a three-week homestand. Over the final weeks of the month, Arkansas hosts Jackson State (doubleheader on Feb. 15), SMU (Feb. 21) and its first SEC opponent of the season, No. 19 Vanderbilt (Feb. 27).
The Razorbacks welcome their second SEC competition, No. 36 Alabama, on March 5 in Fayetteville. Then, Arkansas hits the road to face No. 21 Mississippi State (March 7) and No. 31 Mississippi (March 7).
Following this road trip, the rest of March and April are split evenly between home and road matches. Arkansas hosts No. 13 Florida (March 20) and No. 42 Auburn (March 22) before traveling to face defending SEC Champion No. 10 Texas A&M (March 27) and No. 45 LSU (March 29). The Razorbacks will close April with No. 18 Kentucky (Apr. 2) and No. 17 Tennessee (Apr. 4) at home and then No. 8 Georgia (Apr. 9) and No. 27 South Carolina (Apr. 11) away.
The 2015 SEC tournament will take place April 15-19 at Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.
The Razorbacks claimed a 13-16 overall record and went 3-10 in the SEC during the 2013-14 season.
For more information on Arkansas men’s tennis, follow @RazorbackMTEN on Twitter.