DAVIS, Calif. -- Coming off its most successful Division I season to date, the UC Davis men's tennis team will face a challenging slate of matches during the 2014-15 season, taking on three NCAA Tournament teams and four that were ranked among the nation's best at the end of the year, Head Coach Eric Steidlmayer announced on Thursday.
"This is, perhaps, the most difficult Division I schedule that this program has ever faced," Steidlmayer said. "We have scheduled some of the strongest teams in the country and they will provide a valuable measure of where we are at as a program."
Following a fall season that will see them participate in a quartet of tournaments, including their own Aggie Invitational on Oct. 3-5 at the Marya Welch Tennis Center, the Aggies open with four of their first five contests on the road, including matches at Pacific-12 Conference powers Stanford (Jan. 13) and California (Jan. 19).
The Cardinal finished last season ranked No. 32 in the nation, falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while the Golden Bears ended as the No. 16 team in the country, posting victories over Texas Tech and Texas A&M before falling to Texas in the third round.
Other ranked opponents from last season include a road clash with Santa Clara, which finished No. 56 in the country, on Jan. 31, and a home date with Nevada, ranked No. 67 in the final Division I poll, on Feb. 8.
UC Davis welcomes former conference rival Pacific in its home opener on Jan. 17 at 1 p.m., the first of nine home matches for the Aggies, who finished 11-3 on their home courts a season ago -- a record that included 10 consecutive victories at one point.
Big West Conference play opens on the road on March 26 at regular season champion Hawai'i, which eliminated UC Davis from the conference tournament in 2014, while the Aggies welcome Big West champion, and NCAA Tournament participant, Cal Poly in their league home opener on April 10. The Mustangs fell to No. 6 seed UCLA in the first round.
"The run through the Big West schedule will, once again, be a challenge from top to bottom," Steidlmayer said. "We finished fourth in the league last season, which was our best since joining the league, and it will be a battle for the top spot right up to the conference championships."
Other home matches for UC Davis include a Valentine's Day Causeway Cup clash with Sacramento State, Holy Names (Feb. 16), Northern Colorado (March 15), Northern Arizona (April 5), and league rival UC Santa Barbara (April 11).
The Big West tournament opens on April 23 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.
2014-15 UC DAVIS MEN'S TENNIS SCHEDULE
Oct. 3-5 - Aggie Invitational, All Day
Oct. 10-12 at UC Santa Barbara Classic, All Day
Oct. 17-21 at ITA Northwest Regional (Stanford, Calif.), All Day
Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at Saint Mary's Fall Invitational, All Day
Jan. 13 at Stanford, 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 vs. Pacific, 1 p.m.
Jan. 19 at California, 9:30 a.m.
Jan. 23 at Loyola Marymount, 2 p.m.
Jan. 31 at Santa Clara, 10 a.m.
Feb. 8 vs. Nevada, 1 p.m.
Feb. 14 vs. Sacramento State, Noon
Feb. 15 at Saint Mary's, 1 p.m.
Feb. 16 vs. Holy Names, 2 p.m.
Feb. 20 at San Francisco, 1 p.m.
March 5-8 at Pacific Coast Doubles Championships (La Jolla, Calif.), All Day
March 15 vs. Northern Colorado, 2 p.m.
March 24 vs. UC Santa Diego, 10 a.m.
March 26 at Hawai'i*, 10 a.m.
March 27 at Hawai'i-Pacific, 10 a.m.
April 5 vs. Northern Arizona, 10 a.m.
April 10 vs. Cal Poly*, 2 p.m.
April 11 vs. UC Santa Barbara*, Noon
April 18 at UC Riverside*, 11 a.m.
April 19 at UC Irvine*, 11 a.m.
April 23-26 at Big West Conference Championships (Indian Wells, Calif.), TBA
* Indicates Big West Conference match... All match times listed as Pacific Time... Dates and times are subject to change... Home matches in BOLD and played at the Marya Welch Tennis Center.
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