CHARLESTON, S.C. – College of Charleston women’s tennis has released its 2014 spring schedule, as announced by CofC Director of Tennis, Angelo Anastopoulo on Monday.
Fresh off a 20-9 campaign that saw the Cougars capture their fifth-straight Southern Conference Championship, the College – now entering its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association – will hope to replicate the type of sustained dominance that has allowed the Cougars to capture seven-straight 20-wins seasons and five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.
Known for his aggressive scheduling, coach Anastopoulo has again pitted his Cougars up against some of the premier tennis programs in the country.
“This is a really fun schedule,” said Anastopoulo. “The conference shift has allowed us to play some teams we wouldn’t normally play, which is great. We play 19 home matches and will see a lot of really good programs, so we’re excited about how this schedule came together.”
CofC opens their spring campaign with a flurry, going on the road against three highly-touted regional powers. First up, the Cougars take on the University of South Carolina, Jan. 18, in Columbia, S.C., immediately followed by a matchup against former Southern Conference rival, Davidson, on their home court in Davidson, N.C., on Jan. 19. Rounding out the road swing is a date with Wake Forest, where the Cougars will take on the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem on Jan. 20.
The Cougars host the Osprey of North Florida in their home-opener on Feb. 2 at the Patriots Point Tennis complex, a veritable fortress for the Cougars, who have gone 92-20 at home over the past seven years.
After away matches against Winthrop and North Carolina State on Feb. 8 and Feb. 16, the Cougars return to Patriots Point for a Feb. 21, matchup with East Carolina University.
Anastopoulo and Co., open their CAA account against defending conference champions, William and Mary on Feb. 23. The Tribe – who eventually fell to the University of Texas in the NCAA tournament last season – should provide a good litmus test for the Cougars in their first ever CAA match.
The College then returns home for an unprecedented 15 consecutive matches, beginning with Stetson, Louisiana and East Tennessee State over three straight days, Mar. 1, 2 and 3.
In what is perhaps the most grueling sequence of the schedule, the Cougars play five matches in four days against top notch opponents, beginning with Appalachian State on Mar. 9. After taking on perennial power Notre Dame on Mar. 11, CofC opens a double header the following morning against Southern Miss at 1 pm, followed by a mouthwatering 5 p.m. showdown against the Tarheels of North Carolina, who finished last season ranked fourth in the country. After a quick turnaround, the Richmond Spiders come knocking the next day, Mar. 13.
“We’re playing a lot of great teams in a short period of time”, said Anastopoulo. “We do this in order to get our players prepared for a conference championship setting where they will be doing the same thing. We believe this is the best way to prepare them for that. By the time the CAA Championships roll around, they should be ready.”
After three days off, the College hosts Hofstra, Iowa, UMass and Towson over four consecutive days Mar. 17,18,19 and 20 before taking on Tulane on Mar. 22.
In celebration of Parents Weekend, the Cougars host Jacksonville State on Mar. 29 before taking to the road to face conference foes UNC Wilmington on Apr. 4, and James Madison on Apr. 5.
The Cougars get their first taste of CAA Conference Championship play when they head to Williamsburg, Va., for the CAA Championships, hosted by William and Mary, Apr. 18-21.
You can stay up to date on women’s tennis by following Cougar Athletics on Twitter @CofCSports. You can also follow women’s tennis on Facebook, here: http://on.fb.me/1gi1YFH