Women's Tennis Releases Spring 2012 Schedule; Signs Skylar Kuykendall
Nov. 22, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis women's tennis team released its finalized 2012 spring slate on Tuesday. Noteworthy on this season's calendar are the Conference USA Championships, which the Tigers will host at Memphis University School April 19-22, and the squad's challenging road schedule, packed with top-ranked opponents.
"We have some traveling to do this spring," head coach Lee Taylor Walker said. "Having good teams play you at home has to be earned. No ranked teams will agree to play us at home until we become a top-ranked team ourselves by beating them on the road."
Memphis is set to square off against six programs that finished the 2011 season nationally-ranked: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Princeton, Vanderbilt and C-USA foe Tulsa. The Tigers will also start earlier than years past, heading to Boca Raton, Fla., to face the USTA National Team Jan. 5 in preseason action.
"Our fall results have already turned some heads," Coach Walker said. "And we will take the positives out of playing on the road, which are one, you receive more ranking points for road wins, and two, it will make us tough and ready for NCAAs."
The Blue and Gray will play in the Bluff City only twice during the season, in a WTA event at The Racquet Club of Memphis Feb. 17-26, and when the group welcomes MTSU and UT-Martin during that stretch on Feb. 18. The U of M will compete on the road the remainder of the slate until it hosts the 2012 conference championships at Memphis University School.
"Having the C-USA Championships in Memphis will be a very deserving thing for the team after playing so much on the road," Coach Walker said. "I think it will also give us an advantage and chance of winning the tourney for the first time ever."
Also on Tuesday, Coach Walker announced the addition of Skylar Kuykendall to the Tigers' 2012-13 roster.
A native of Jasper, Ala., Kuykendall has spent the past seven years training in Bradenton, Fla., reaching as high as No. 250 in the world in junior rankings. She has produced wins over top-100 ITF world-ranked juniors and top-550 WTA world-ranked women.
"Skylar has a lot of experience on all levels, from the local junior level in Florida all the way to the international professional level," Coach Walker said. "College tennis is a great next step for Skylar and I am confident that by the end of her four years she will be one of the top players in college and ready for the WTA tour. She has solid values and a great perspective on life. She will fit in great with our team."
Kuykendall boasts a 3.9 grade point average and anticipates graduating from Potter's Wheel Academy in Sarasota, Fla., in May before joining the Tigers next fall.