Tiger Tennis Releases 2006-07 Schedule
Aug. 28, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A men's tennis roster with six newcomers and just three returning players from last season will give Tiger head coach Paul Goebel and his assistants, Lee Taylor Walker and Tobias Huning, plenty to do to get ready for a 2006-07 schedule that features nine nationally-ranked and two regionally-ranked foes. The Tiger schedule features eight of the team's nine nationally-ranked opponents on the road, while the Tigers' host Mississippi State, the No. 52 ranked team in the country last year, Feb. 16th.
"We wanted to put together another tough schedule to help us in a bid for an NCAA tournament spot," Goebel said. "But I also wanted to play a traditional conference schedule, so we'll have to go on the road to try to get to face everyone on our side of the conference schedule."
Memphis will compete in four fall tournaments to figure out where the six newcomers fit into a roster that returns just three players from last season. And the Tigers will be without lone senior Garrison Pilant, who broke his wrist and will miss the fall season while recovering from surgery. That leaves rising sophomores Vinicius Craveiro and Tezar Putra as the lone players who suited up for Memphis last season, and both Craveiro and Putra were January additions to the 2005-06 roster. Memphis will open its fall schedule at the Virginia Fall Classic, Sept. 15-17, then will travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to participate in the Blue Raider Fall Classic, Sept. 22-24. The team will then travel even further east on I-40 to play in the Volunteer State Challenge in Knoxville, Oct. 13-16th in hopes of getting some fall results that would qualify either individuals or doubles combinations for the ITA Southeast Regional, Oct. 20-23rd in Lexington, Ky.
Memphis will open its spring season at the USF Invitational for a second straight season, but unlike last year, the Tigers hope to have at least six healthy players so they can compete with a full roster against the likes of USF, William & Mary and Clemson, the No. 24 ranked team in the country at the end of last season. Memphis will play in the USF Invitational Jan. 19-21st in Tampa, then will go on a two-match road trip, playing at No. 50 Tennessee, Jan. 26th and No. 71 Vanderbilt, Jan. 28th. The Tigers will open their 2006-07 home schedule with three straight matches, including UT Martin (Feb. 3), Nicholls State (Feb. 9) and No. 52 Mississippi State (Feb. 16).
Memphis will then wing back down to Florida to face a pair of C-USA foes, playing at UCF Feb. 22nd, and facing East Carolina, Feb. 23rd, to open league play. The Tigers will then travel south to Oxford to play No. 13 Oxford before returning home to face Tennessee Tech and its new head coach, Mar. 2nd.
Memphis will make a west coast swing for a third straight season under Goebel, playing at No. 56 Arizona State (Mar. 6), at No. 44 Arizona (Mar. 8) and against No. 66 Denver (Mar. 9) in Phoenix before returning home to host Indiana State and its first-year head coach on Mar. 17th.
Memphis' last C-USA road match will be a Mar. 23rd match at No. 73 UAB and then the Tigers will close out their home schedule with four straight matches, including Southeastern Louisiana, a team that ranked No. 15 in the ITA Southeast Region at the end of last year, on Apr. 3, Murray State on Apr. 4, Southern Miss (Apr. 6) and a home finale against UALR, the No. 7 ranked team in the ITA Central Region on Apr. 11th.
The Tigers will close the regular season at No. 33 MTSU, Apr. 14th before flying to Houston for the C-USA Championships, Apr. 20-22nd.
"We probably have fewer teams that will be nationally-ranked at the beginning of the year, but programs like East Carolina, Tennessee Tech, Indiana State and Southeastern Louisiana all could be ranked by the time we play them in the spring," Goebel said.