Kansas' spring tennis schedule loaded
LAWRENCE, Kan. – If the 2017 spring Kansas tennis schedule has a postseason feel to it there is a good reason, as the Jayhawks will face 14 teams that participated in the 2016 NCAA Tournament out of the total 22 opponents on KU’s spring schedule.
In late January, Kansas will travel to Nashville, Tennessee, to play three NCAA Tournament teams in Clemson, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. In February, the Jayhawks will face five tournament teams in a row with only one home match, Arkansas.
“I’ve always been the type of coach who leans toward scheduling as strong as a schedule that you think your team can handle,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “With playing in the Big 12 Conference, I think it only does us good to be challenged in the nonconference. The way the formula works to get into the NCAA Tournament, you’re rewarded for playing a tough schedule, it depends on how many good teams you beat so you have to schedule them to be able to have the chance to beat them.”
Big 12 play starts strong with two home matches against TCU and Texas Tech, both of which made appearances in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Kansas will travel to Oklahoma State, which won the conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Championship match, and will close out league play in Waco against another tournament team, Baylor.
“I think this year will be the strongest I’ve ever seen the Big 12 in the last seven years,” said Chapman. “There are a lot of teams that are continuing to get better. I think on paper they’re [Oklahoma State] actually more talented this year. They’ll be a tough test as well as many other teams.”
They Jayhawks will break-in the new Jayhawk Tennis Center against Saint Louis in mid-January. Kansas will host eight matches at the $9 million indoor and outdoor facility during the spring season.
“Getting to get a match that’s early on in the schedule that’s at home in our new facility will be exciting,” said Chapman. “I think it will be fun for the girls and hopefully for fans to get to come out and see our new facility, see how fan friendly it is and what a nice facility we have and the ability to showcase that.”
Before getting into the dual-match portion of the schedule, Kansas will take part in the 2017 Maui Invitational January 4-6. For a complete listing of the Jayhawks’ 2017 schedule, click here.
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