STILLWATER, Okla. -
The Oklahoma State men’s tennis team has released its schedule for the 2014-15 season, head coach Jay Udwadia announced on Tuesday.
After facing 17 ranked opponents in 2014, the Cowboys are again tasked with a challenging slate, as 18 of Oklahoma State’s 24 dual matches will come against teams that finished with spots in last season’s final ITA Team Rankings.
“Last year, we had the opportunity to face some great competition before getting into conference play,” Udwadia said. “With such a young team, it helped us gain some experience, both at home and on the road, so we’ll be taking on some tough teams again to start out the year.”
OSU’s fall campaign will begin with its third-consecutive appearance in the Napa Invitational, a three-day tournament beginning on Sept. 12. The Cowboys will then head to Lafayette, La., for the Cajun Invite, the team’s final fall tournament before taking part in Tulsa’s ITA All-American competition, a two-week bracket-style event set to start on Sept. 26.
Among the five Cowboys taking part in fall action are returning All-Americans Jakob Sude and Arjun Kadhe, who combine to make one of OSU’s most successful doubles squads in school history. The tandem enters the upcoming season coming off a semifinal appearance in the 2014 NCAA Doubles Championships.
The remainder of the Cowboys’ fall roster consists of Nicolai Ferrigno, Nathan Roper and Lucas Gerch.
Oklahoma State will close out the fall between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, Nev., at the UNLV Invite, barring a possible qualification to November’s USTA/ITA National Indoors.
For the second-consecutive season, OSU will open its spring dual match schedule at the Greenwood Tennis Center, as the Cowboys welcome Illinois State and Oral Roberts for a season-opening doubleheader on Sunday, Jan. 18. Other notable non-conference matches in Stillwater include battles against Alabama, Memphis, Pepperdine and in-state rival Tulsa.
On Jan. 24, the Cowboys will travel to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the ITA’s annual Kick-Off Weekend, marking OSU’s first appearance in the early-season tournament since 2011. As the competition’s fourth-overall seed, Oklahoma State will open play against host-squad Notre Dame, followed by a faceoff with either Tennessee or Columbia.
Also in non-conference action, the Cowboys will have a chance to avenge last season’s only home loss outside of Big 12 play, as they travel to take on Wake Forest on Feb. 21. The match marks the beginning of a two-week road trip, ending with an appearance in the 126th Annual Pacific Coast Doubles, located in La Jolla, Calif.
Oklahoma State will kick off Big 12 competition with two conference matches in Stillwater, opening with a March 27 battle against Texas and closing with a clash against TCU on March 29. The Cowboys pulled off one of their tightest wins of the year in last season’s 4-3 victory over TCU, while nearly taking down the sixith-ranked Longhorns in Austin, falling just short in a 4-3 defeat.
The Cowboys’ home match against Wichita State (April 7) will mark their final regular-season appearance at the Greenwood Tennis Center in 2015. Oklahoma State will follow by closing out the year on the road, taking on Texas Tech (April 10), Baylor (April 12) and Oklahoma (April 19), before traveling to Waco, Texas, for the Big 12 Championships.
“With our returners and the guys we’ve got coming in, we’re going to be able to play at a very high level,” Udwadia said. “I look forward to welcoming the entire squad here in January to begin working on building a successful team.”
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