NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Each of the past three seasons the Lipscomb women’s tennis team has reached a new record for victories in a season.
Lipscomb coach Jamie Aid is challenging her team to reach even higher heights in 2016-17 with a schedule that offers a number of challenges.
“This is the most competitive schedule in program history,” Aid said. “This year’s schedule was completed with much thought. I started placing this schedule together last fall and I am very excited about it.”
The fall schedule consists of three “dual” matches. The first is at Samford Sept. 30-Oct. 2. In addition to the host team, the field will include Lipscomb, South Alabama and UAB.
On Oct. 7-9 the Lady Bisons will be in Memphis for the Memphis “Hidden” Dual which also includes Samford and Chattanooga.
The final match of the fall is Oct. 20-24 at Middle Tennessee in the ITAs with the opponents as yet to be announced.
“We are lucky to have a fall schedule that is comprised of `dual’ matches,” Aid said. “We were able to participate in duals last year as well. This is a great opportunity to see our girls play in different positions
“The advantage of dual matches in the fall is we are able to play the same ‘team’ format we do in the spring. Many fall tournaments are individualized tournaments. We have a large number of new players so I am eager to see them play in this format.”
The Lady Bisons will face four nationally-ranked teams from last season - Mississippi, Tennessee, Ball State and South Alabama.
“We have a tremendous nonconference opportunity to play teams that will push our girls and elevate our level of play prior to the conference portion of the schedule,” Aid said.
On March 17 the Lady Bisons will play a doubleheader starting the day with Butler and ending with Missouri State at the Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center.
“We have never hosted a doubleheader on our schedule and we are hosting one this year over spring break,” Aid said.
Aid worked to develop a schedule that was almost equal in home and away matches. In the spring they will play 13 home matches and 10 matches on the road.
“We have several tough away matches on the road,” Aid said. “One will be the University of Mississippi (Feb. 17) and another will be the University of Tennessee (Feb. 19).
“In conference we will have some very important road matches. I believe having a challenging non-conference away schedule will prepare our girls for the traveling we will do in the conference. We travel to the two farthest schools from Nashville this year playing NJIT (March 23 in Newark) and FGCU (April 8 in Fort Myers, Florida). We also play USC Upstate on the road March 25.”
The Lady Bisons have advanced to the Atlantic Sun Conference semifinals the past two seasons.
Home A-Sun matches will be played against Stetson March 30, North Florida April 1 and Kennesaw State April 15.
Four indoor home matches are scheduled at the Whitworth Indoor Center. The season opener for the spring is Jan. 13 against UAB. Memphis visits Jan. 28 followed by Chattanooga on Feb. 4 and Western Kentucky Feb. 11.