NORMAN – University of Oklahoma Head Men’s Tennis Coach Nick Crowell and Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione announced the 2019 OU tennis schedule Wednesday.
The Sooners’ schedule features matchups with 12 teams who qualified for the 2018 NCAA Championships (including semifinalist Texas A&M) and 11 teams who finished the season in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s top 25. Four of those squads ended 2018 in the ITA top 10.
“We are really excited to get after it with this team starting in mid-January,” said Crowell. “Our schedule is one of the strongest in the country this year. We have a challenging non-conference home and road schedule that will prepare us for the Big 12 season and the NCAA Championships.”
OU will play a total of 15 matches at home, including a four-match homestand to open the season. The Sooners host Abilene Christian on Jan. 13, followed by regional foes Wichita State (Jan. 17) and Creighton and Omaha in a doubleheader on Jan. 20.
Oklahoma will host ITA Kickoff Weekend for the seventh consecutive year. No. 1 seed OU will face No. 4 Drake on Jan. 26, while No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Notre Dame square off on the other side of the bracket. The winners of those matches will face each other Jan. 27 with a trip to the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships (held Feb. 15-18 in Chicago, Ill.) on the line.
OU then heads to Michigan on Feb. 2 before returning to the Headington Family Tennis Center to host Cornell on Feb. 9.
The squad is set for a two-match swing in Orlando, Fla., where it takes on SEC opponents Mississippi State (Feb. 23) and Kentucky (Feb. 24).
OU faces its third straight SEC opponent when it plays at Arkansas on Feb. 27 before returning to Norman for four straight home matches: Tulsa (March 1), Florida State (March 3), Memphis (March 8) and Charlotte (March 16).
Crowell and the Sooners travel to College Station to face former Big 12 rival Texas A&M on March 19 before a road trip to North Carolina on March 22.
Oklahoma plays host to USF on March 24 and will open the Big 12 slate at home on March 29 with Oklahoma State.
The Sooners face Baylor in Waco, Texas, on April 5, then head to Lubbock to tackle Texas Tech on April 7. OU closes out conference play at home with TCU (April 12) and Texas (April 14).
The Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championships will be held in Lawrence, Kan., April 18-22.
NCAA Regionals are set for May 3-5, with the winners advancing to Super Regionals May 10-11. Regionals and Super Regionals will take place at campus sites. Team Championships will be held May 18-22 in Orlando, Fla., at the USTA National Campus.
The NCAA Individual Championships will also take place at the National Campus May 23-28.
“We hope to get some huge crowds out when we play at home this season. Our guys love looking up in the stands and seeing the fans going crazy,” said Crowell. “We have three huge Big 12 matches against Texas, TCU and Oklahoma State at home late in the season and we hope to see everyone out there.”
Admission to home tennis matches is always free.