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Men's tennis announces 2013-14 schedule

Raiders to face 14 ranked opponents in 2014 spring season

August 16, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Head men's tennis coach Jimmy Borendame has announced the Blue Raiders' schedule for the 2013-14 campaign. Middle Tennessee will face 14 teams during the season that were ranked in the final ITA poll from this past spring.

"This is without a doubt the toughest schedule I have ever put together," said Borendame. "There are 14 nationally ranked teams on this schedule, but that will be even higher by the end of the year as I expect some of the unranked teams like Central Florida and Utah State to be highly improved and ranked by the time we play.

"Furthermore, we are bound to play some more ranked opponents in the Conference USA Championship with the likes of (No. 25) Tulsa and (No. 69) Tulane being ranked as we fight for our first C-USA title. We put this schedule together knowing we should be a very strong team this year and for the first time will have more upperclassmen then underclassmen. I am looking forward to Ben Davis and the juniors leading this older team to some big wins this year."

The Blue Raiders, who finished last year No. 48 in the ITA rankings, will face at least four of the top 20 programs in the nation in the spring season. No. 20 Memphis, No. 32 Northwestern, No. 71 North Florida and No. 74 will visit Middle Tennessee, while MT will face 10 more on the road: No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 17 Cal, No. 18 South Carolina, No. 30 VCU, No. 38 TCU, No. 44 Columbia, No. 46 Boise State, No. 47 Louisville and No. 54 Cornell. The Blue Raiders will also play either No. 4 Ohio State or No. 58 Denver on the road, the opponent contingent on the result of the match vs. Louisville. Twelve MT opponents earned a trip to the NCAA tournament a year ago.

The fall schedule opens up Sept. 13 and 14 with the 27th Annual Wally Tidwell Pro-Am Presented by Farmers Insurance at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center. The following weekend, MT hosts Lipscomb, Southern Illinois and UAB for the Dale Short Shootout, with others traveling to Charlottesville, Va., for the ITA event at Virginia.

The Raiders are split again for the final weekend of September, with some in Chattanooga for the Steve Baras Invite and others at the ITA All-American in Tulsa, Okla. October features the ITA Regional Championships in Knoxville from Oct. 11-15.

Spring competition opens up Jan. 18 with home matches vs. Chattanooga and Murray State. MT travels to Columbus, Ohio the following weekend for the ITA Kickoff, facing Louisville before squaring off with either Denver or the host Buckeyes of Ohio State the following day.

February begins in the Palmetto State with a match at South Carolina on Feb. 2. The following weekend, the Raiders make the short trip to Nashville to face Vanderbilt. Following the match against the Commodores, MT travels to Richmond, Va., to play VCU on Feb. 14.

Two days later, Northwestern and Tennessee State come to town for matches before the first of three distant trips during the spring. The Raiders travel to the Empire State, first playing Cornell on Feb. 28 in Ithaca, N.Y., before traveling down to New York City to face Columbia on March 2.

Middle Tennessee then returns home for three matches, facing North Florida, Jacksonville State and Memphis before another long-distance trip brings the team to Cal (March 13) and TCU (March 15).

MT then spends the rest of March at home, hosting Lipscomb and Austin Peay. The Governors were Ohio Valley Conference champions In 2013, earning a bid to the NCAA tournament. March concludes with the Middle Tennessee Shootout, March 28-30. UAB and Southern Illinois, participants in the Dale Short Shootout, join UT Arlington, Troy, South Alabama, Illinois State and DePaul for the three-day event.

April opens with a trip to Idaho, where the Raiders will face Boise State and Utah State in a two-day event in Boise. MT then returns home for two final regular-season matches vs. USF (April 11) and UCF (April 13).

Tulsa will host the Conference USA Championships, beginning April 17. It is the third time since 2006 that the Golden Hurricane have been named host of the event.

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