MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois men's tennis coach Chris Kane announced the spring 2013 schedule on Thursday (Nov. 15). The Leathernecks will square off against some of the best competition in the nation during the spring.
"This is the toughest schedule in the history of Leatherneck Tennis," said Kane. "We open against my alma mater, Notre Dame, follow that up with powerhouses Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Oklahoma State, and play five other teams who were Champions of their conference and NCAA Championship participants. Demanding, yes very demanding."
Western will travel to South Bend, Indiana on January 19 to open up the spring season as they take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Following the trip to South Bend, the Leathernecks will stay up north as they travel to Flossmoor, Illinois to take on Chicago State on January 20. The following day the team will head to Valparaiso, Indiana to face Valparaiso University.
After the three-day road swing in the northern part of the state, the team will head to Stillwater, Oklahoma to face Oklahoma State on January 26.
During the month of February, the Leathernecks will have 12-matches in 23 days, beginning February 1 in Iowa City, Iowa as the team faces the University of Iowa.
"Why do we play such a tough schedule?" continued Kane, "A few reasons. I don't believe in being a mediocre team, and to be the best you have to play the best. Also, it's a great recruiting tool. Great players want to play other great players. This schedule is a big reason the outstanding players in last year's recruiting class chose Western."
Western will open up its home schedule on April 7, as Roosevelt University comes to Macomb for an afternoon match. Three days later Saint Louis University will be in town to face the Leathernecks.
The Purple & Gold will close out the spring season, and home play, beginning on Friday, April 19, as the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State come to town. Two days later, the Fort Wayne Mastodons head to Macomb for the final match of the spring season.
"We have a lot of positive momentum coming out of the fall. I thought our showing at the ITA's was excellent. When you beat starters from nationally ranked teams such as Minnesota, Nebraska, and Arkansas, you belong in the conversation. One thing's for sure...we sure better not take any nights off. If we do, we'll pay for it. The Summit League will be extremely tough this year, as the competition is improving by leaps and bounds. We hope to be right in the thick of the race." ended Kane.
To view the complete men's tennis schedule, click HERE.