Utah State men's tennis released its 2019 spring schedule, as announced Wednesday by head coach James Wilson. The Aggies will host 11 home matches, and the schedule includes six opponents who finished the 2018 season ranked in the top 50 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
"This spring, we will compete against some of the best teams in the country, and I know our group is excited about the challenge," Wilson said. "The team understands that the only way to prepare for play in the Mountain West is to face difficult opponents in difficult venues. Our strong home schedule is also very exciting and will be a good opportunity for our guys."
USU opens its season hosting Weber State and Idaho State in a doubleheader on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. The Aggies then travel to San Diego, California, to face the University of San Diego on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m., followed by a match at UC Irvine on Sunday, Jan. 20, at noon. USU heads to Austin, Texas, for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend to compete against Miami on Friday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. Utah State will compete the following day against either Texas, which finished the 2018 season ranked No. 11 by the ITA, or Washington, depending on results from day one.
The Aggies return to Logan to compete against BYU on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. The Aggies then host a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 8, facing Santa Clara and Montana State at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. USU next faces a trio of teams in Des Moines, Iowa, where it will face Drake on Friday, Feb. 15, at 5 p.m.; Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m.; and UCSB, which finished ranked No. 37, on Monday, Feb. 18, at 9 a.m. The Aggies return home to host Denver on Friday, March 1, at 2 p.m.
USU faces its first conference opponent in UNLV on the road in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, March 15, at 5 p.m. On Sunday, March 17, the Aggies will head home to compete against UT-San Antonio at 1 p.m. Utah State will travel to Houston, Texas, March 22-24 for the Rice Invitational to face Texas Tech, which finished 2018 ranked No. 32, Dartmouth and Rice, which was ranked No. 44 at the end of the 2018 season. Following the Texas trip, the Aggies will host their final non-conference match on Wednesday, March 27, against Cal Poly, which finished 2018 ranked No. 49.
A full slate of Mountain West matches begin when the Aggies host three-consecutive contests against San Diego State on Friday, March 29, at 3 p.m.; Air Force on Friday, April 5, at 3 p.m.; and New Mexico on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. The Aggies then hit the road for their final three conference matches where they will face Fresno State on Friday, April 12; Nevada on Sunday, April 14; and Boise State on Saturday, April 20, at 1 p.m. The Mountain West Championships will be held in Fresno, California, from April 25-27.
Overall, Utah State looks to continue its unprecedented success from the 2017-18 season that saw the team earn its third-straight Mountain West title, as the Aggies won the regular season with a 7-0 mark in conference play. Utah State had its highest ITA ranking at No. 43 and was in the top 50 for five weeks, finishing at No. 50.Comment on this story
USU returns two letterwinners in sophomores Jose Carvajal and Felipe Acosta. Carvajal is tied for the No. 1 spot in USU's single-season record book in combined singles and doubles wins with 48, as well as total doubles wins with 24. Acosta earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors on March 14, after posting a 5-0 mark in singles and doubles play against then-No. 26 Old Dominion, George Washington and South Florida. USU's remaining six newcomers who will be competing this spring are Isaac Arturo Arevalo, Rithvik Bollipalli, Daniel Bushamuka, Mitch Johnson and Duro Opacic.