NASHVILLE, Tenn. — More than half the opponents on the 2023 Vanderbilt men’s tennis spring schedule revealed by head coach Ian Duvenhage Wednesday are coming off an appearance in the NCAA Championships, highlighted by eight schools that ended up in the top 25 of the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings last May.
In all, 17 of 23 potential foes the Commodores will face were included in the ITA ratings at the end of the 2021-22 season.
“We are excited to get started in the spring and see we how we stack up against the competition,” said Duvenhage.
After opening at the Yale Martin Luther King Invitational Jan. 14-16, the Dores will face NCAA Sweet 16 participant USC—which closed the spring No. 13 in the final ITA rankings—on the opening day of the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Jan. 28 in Los Angeles, closing the event against either Memphis or UCLA. Vandy will open February with a six-match homestand that gets underway Feb. 4 against Princeton, also playing Tennessee State later in the day before taking on Rice on Feb. 12. The following weekend the Commodores will play host to Florida Atlantic (Feb. 18) on Saturday before a Sunday doubleheader featuring Oklahoma State and Belmont. Nonconference play closes with a Feb. 26 date at Northwestern, which ended last spring 31st in the nation after winning its first-round NCAA Tournament match.
Eleven SEC schools on the Commodores’ schedule finished last spring among the top 50 in the final ITA ratings, with 10 of those participating in the NCAA Championships.
Vandy will open league play at home on March 2 against Arkansas, with other visitors to the Currey Tennis Center including South Carolina (March 4), Florida (March 18), Mississippi State (March 24), Ole Miss (March 25) and Texas A&M (April 7) in the home finale. The Dores will visit Tennessee (March 9)—which reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament last spring—Georgia (March 11), Alabama (March 31), Auburn (April 2), NCAA runner-up Kentucky (April 9) and LSU (April 16).
During SEC action, Vanderbilt will also play host to Alabama A&M (March 4) and Butler (March 18) as a part of doubleheaders.
The league championship will be hosted by Auburn from April 19-23, with the NCAA Championships getting underway on May 5.
The Commodores finished last spring with a 14-12 overall record and were 55th in the final ITA rankings.