DURHAM, N.C. – Duke women’s tennis head coach Jamie Ashworth officially announced the 2014 spring schedule Monday. The Blue Devils will host seven conference opponents during the spring season and feature 20 teams ranked in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings from 2012-13.
“We are excited about the upcoming spring season and the schedule we have in front of us,” said Ashworth. “We open up at home against a very good and underrated William and Mary team followed closely after that with a tremendous opportunity in hosting the first two rounds of the national team indoors.”
Following a home contest against William and Mary Jan. 12, the Blue Devils travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to compete in the Freeman Memorial Championships Jan. 17-19. The field includes five of the top seven teams in the final ITA poll from last season – Stanford (1), Florida (2), Texas A&M (3), Southern California (6), UCLA (8), Duke (14) and UNLV (49).
Duke returns home to host Columbia, Kentucky and Tulane in the ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament Jan. 24-26 at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
The Blue Devils open February competition at home against Furman Feb. 1, before traveling to the National Team Indoor competition in Charlottesville, Va., the following weekend Feb. 7-10.
“Amazingly, with the expansion of our conference, we begin ACC play in February,” Ashworth said. “Once again our conference will be the toughest in the country and every time we take the court it will be a major test for our team. We have nine teams from the ACC that made the field of 64 last year and I am expecting no less than that this year.”
The Blue Devils return to Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 21 to begin ACC competition with Virginia. Duke then welcomes ACC opponents Syracuse, Notre Dame and North Carolina to Durham, N.C., Feb. 23, Feb. 28 and March 2, respectively.
After opening March against the Tar Heels, the Blue Devils compete in five additional ACC matches in the month, including Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., March 8, Wake Forest in Winston Salem, N.C., March 9, Florida State at home March 23, Maryland in College Park, Md., March 28 and Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 30. Duke also faces non-conference foes Old Dominion in Bradenton, Fla., March 12 and Northwestern at home March 26.
April holds five ACC competitions for Duke. The Blue Devils welcome N.C. State to Durham April 4, for the start of a three-match homestand that also sees Miami and Boston College traveling to Durham April 6 and 11, respectively. Duke closes out the regular season on the road, traveling to Clemson, S.C., April 17 before the final match of the regular season against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga., April 19.
The Blue Devils enter the spring season after a successful fall, notching a 46-22 overall record. Sophomore Beatrice Capra highlighted the Blue Devils fall results, recording a 15-2 ledger and claiming the ITA Regional Title in Chapel Hill, N.C., earlier in the year.
“It should be a great spring for the group we have put together and having such a tough schedule will not only make us better but also tougher knowing that we need to be playing at a high level every time we put on the Duke uniform and step out on the court.”
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