COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M men's head tennis coach Steve Denton announced the 2012-13 schedule, which includes six challenging tournaments throughout the fall and early January that Denton expects will prepare the Aggies for a grueling spring schedule as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
"Surely, we must have one of the toughest schedules in the country playing seven teams in the top 10 and 13 of the top 20 teams," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "This challenging schedule, coupled with our maiden voyage in the SEC, with a very young and talented team means that Texas A&M men's tennis and the 12th Man are in for a wild ride this upcoming season."
The Aggies open the fall season at the ITA All-American Sept. 29-Oct. 7 in Tulsa, Okla. A&M then competes in the ITA Texas Regional with the top finishers advancing to the prestigious USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, Nov. 8-11, in Flushing, New York.
A&M makes its only home appearance of the fall on Friday, Oct. 26 when the Aggies host the Conference Challenge at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
In January, A&M will compete at the Rice Invitational and the SEC Indoor Championships before playing its first of 21 scheduled dual matches at No. 9 Stanford in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 26 in Palo Alto, Calif. All 21 dual matches are against opponents listed in the 2012 ITA final rankings, including 15 matches against teams that finished in the top 25.
The Aggies are slated to play 10 home dual matches in the spring. Eight of the matches are against teams that ranked in the top 25, including four teams that finished in the top 10. They open their home schedule Feb. 10 as they play host to No. 4 Ohio State.
Following home matches against No. 17 Tulsa and No. 10 Oklahoma on Feb. 22 and 24, respectively, the Aggies play their inaugural SEC match at No. 41 South Carolina on March 1.
A&M's first SEC home match will be against No. 40 Vanderbilt on March 8.
All 13 SEC men's teams (Missouri does not sponsor men's tennis) were in the top 60 in the final 2012 rankings, with eight SEC teams being ranked in the top 25. No. 5 Georgia, which A&M will face March 31 in Athens, is the defending SEC tournament champion. The 2013 SEC Championship will be April 17-21 in Oxford, Miss
A&M returns seven letterwinners from last year's team that went 14-15, advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 19th consecutive year and was No. 30 in the final ranking after falling in the second round to eventual national champion Southern California. In addition, Denton welcomes a pair of outstanding newcomers including Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant. Adams advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open Junior Championships in New York earlier this fall. The freshmen duo played doubles together this summer and won the USTA Freeman Men's Futures Tournament in Joplin, Missouri.
2012 final ITA team rankings (A&M's 2013 opponents are bolded):
1. Southern California
4. Ohio State
11. Mississippi State
16. North Carolina
23. Texas Tech
26. San Diego
41. South Carolina