Fresh off a trip to the 2015 Atlantic Sun Championships for the first time in school history, USC Upstate men’s tennis head coach Oliver Trittenwein announced the Spartans’ 2016 spring schedule on Monday.
Upstate kicks off the season with a three-match road trip against non-conference foes Presbyterian (Jan. 23), Gardner-Webb (Jan. 27) and crosstown rival Wofford (Feb. 4). The Spartans play four of their next five matches at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex, beginning with the home opener against in-state foe Winthrop (Feb. 6). Upstate also faces Appalachian State (Feb. 12), Campbell (Feb. 19) and Kennesaw State (Feb. 21) in a match that will not be considered a conference contest.
The Spartans close February by embarking on a five-match road trip that pits Upstate against Charlotte (Feb. 27), Furman (March 2), Clemson (March 4), Chattanooga (March 8) and Tennessee Tech (March 10). Upstate also battles Elon (Feb. 13) and UNC Asheville (March 19) in non-conference road matches.
“I am very excited about our non-conference schedule this season,” Trittenwein said. “We are facing some new opponents while also renewing some of our traditional in-state rivalries.”
Conference play begins with back-to-back matches at home, as Upstate hosts North Florida (March 12) and Stetson (March 24) before stepping back out of conference to welcome Georgia Southern (March 26) to the USC Upstate Tennis Complex.
Upstate plays its first conference road match of the season when the Spartans tangle with A-Sun reigning champion Florida Gulf Coast (April 2). The Spartans also feature road contests at Lipscomb (April 7) and conference newcomer NJIT (April 16).
The Spartans close their home schedule against Kennesaw State for the second straight year, hosting the Owls April 9 on Senior Day.
“The addition of NJIT to our conference schedule adds strength to our league as a whole,” Trittenwein added. “We have a strong nucleus of returnees on our team this year and we’re excited to set our goals high and make a run to the top of the conference.”
Spartans fans will have the opportunity to watch Upstate compete for a berth in the NCAA Championships, as USC Upstate and the USC Upstate Tennis Complex was selected as the host site for the 2016 Atlantic Sun Championships. The tournament is scheduled for April 22-24 and will feature the top six finishers in the regular season.