COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M women’s tennis coach Bobby Kleinecke announced the dates and opponents for the 2009 dual schedule following the conclusion of today’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s inaugural Kick-Off Draft.
The Aggies were one of the top 60 teams participating in the ITA Kick-Off Draft to determine the four-team match-ups at 15 sites on January 31-February 1, the opening weekend of the 2009 dual season. The winner at each of the 15 sites advances to the prestigious 16-team ITA National Team Indoor Championships, Feb. 12-15 in Madison, Wis. As host of the national indoors, the University of Wisconsin is automatically qualified for the 16-team national tournament.
With the 14th pick, Kleinecke selected to travel to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where the Aggies will be the No. 2 seed and will take on No. 3-seed St. Mary’s College in the season opener. A&M will face either No. 1-seed USC or No. 4-seed Michigan State on February 1.
“I thought the draft went very well, and it was fun to watch coaches pick where they wanted their teams to open the season,” Kleinecke said. “It adds excitement, and it is a great thing for college tennis that the top teams are able to compete for the chance to qualify for the National Team Indoor Championships instead of the field being determined by what the teams did the previous year.”
A&M is slated to play 21 matches overall in 2009, not including the National Team Indoor Championships. Eleven of A&M’s scheduled opponents advanced to the 2008 NCAA Championships, including Big 12 Conference-foe Baylor, which advanced to the NCAA semifinals and finished No. 4 in the final national rankings. The Aggies will face 17 teams that were ranked in the 2008 final top 75, including nine teams that were ranked in the top 30.
“I feel like we will have a young team, and they will be expected to handle a tough schedule from the very start,” Kleinecke said. “We will get tested right away, and there is no better way to do it.”
The Aggies, who will have only one starting junior-to-be and three sophomores returning from the 2008 squad that went 17-9 and advanced to the second round of the 2008 NCAA Championships, play their home opener Friday, Feb. 6 against Auburn. It is one of nine regular-season home matches for the Aggies.
A&M opens Big 12 play at Texas on Saturday, March 7, and concludes the regular season at Kansas on Sunday, April 19.
Oklahoma will host the Big 12 Championships, April 23-26, in Norman, Okla., and Texas A&M will host the 2009 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Tennis Championships, May 14-26, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
The following is the complete 2008-09 A&M women’s tennis schedule:
DATE EVENT PLACE TIME
Sept 19-21 Milwaukee Tennis Inv. Milwaukee, Wis. TBA
Oct Sept 30-Oct 1 ITA Riviera All-American Qual. Pacific Palisades, Calif. TBA
Oct 2-5 ITA Riviera All-American Main Pacific Palisades, Calif. TBA
Oct 11-13 USTA BJKNTC Championships Flushing Meadow, N.Y. TBA
Oct 24-28 ITA Southwest Regional Fort Worth, Texas TBA
Nov 6-9 ITA National Indoors Charlottesville, Va. TBA
DATE EVENT PLACE TIME
Sat, Jan 31 St. Mary’s College Los Angeles, Calif. 8:30 a.m.
Sun, Feb 1 USC or Michigan State Los Angeles, Calif. TBD
Fri, Feb 6 Auburn College Station 6 p.m.
Sun, Feb 8 LSU College Station 1 p.m.
Feb 12-15 ITA National Team Indoors Madison, Wis. TBA
Sat, Feb 21 @ Duke Durham, N.C. 1 p.m.
Sun, Feb 22 @ Wake Forest Winston Salem, N.C. 12 p.m.
Fri, Feb 27 South Florida College Station 6 p.m.
Th, Mar 5 TCU College Station 6 p.m.
Sat, Mar 7 @ Texas Austin, Texas 12 p.m.
Fri, Mar 13 Texas Tech College Station 6 p.m.
Fri, Mar 20 Oklahoma State College Station 6 p.m.
Sun, Mar 22 Oklahoma College Station 1 p.m.
Fri, Mar 27 @ Nebraska Lincoln, Neb. 1 p.m.
Sat, Mar 28 @ Iowa State Ames, Iowa TBA
Fri, Apr 3 Missouri College Station 6 p.m.
Sun, Apr 5 Colorado College Station 1 p.m.
Th, Apr 9 @ Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich. 3 p.m.
Sat, Apr 11 @ Notre Dame South Bend, Ind. 10 a.m.
Wed, Apr 15 Baylor College Station 6 p.m.
Sat, Apr 18 @ Kansas State Manhattan, Kan. 12 p.m.
Sun, Apr 19 @ Kansas Lawrence, Kan. 12 p.m.
Apr 23-26 Big 12 Championships Norman, Okla. TBA
May 8-10 NCAA 1st / 2nd Rounds TBA TBA
May 14-25 NCAA Championships College Station TBA
* All times are in the time zone where the match will be played