Oct. 28, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma vice president for intercollegiate athletics programs and director of athletics Joe Castiglione and head women's tennis coach David Mullins announced OU's 2011 spring schedule Thursday.
The Sooners look to build on last season's success and make it to their second-straight NCAA tournament. OU opens the spring at home against Wichita State on Jan. 23 at 5 p.m.
OU will face 15 opponents that finished last season ranked in the ITA top-75, including eight that finished in the top-40 and four in the top-25.
"Our spring schedule is probably the toughest schedule the OU's women's tennis team has ever faced," Mullins said.
"We have three potential match ups with top-10 programs due to our qualification for the ITA Kickoff Weekend and our invitation to the Blue Gray tournament in Montgomery, Alabama. We also added three new teams to our schedule this year in Minnesota, TCU and Oregon."
OU will compete at the 2011 ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament, facing UNLV on Jan. 28 and the winner of the 2010 National Champion Stanford vs. Cal-Poly on Jan. 29. The Sooners also join Alabama, Auburn, DePaul, Ohio State, Utah, Notre Dame and Virginia in the Blue Gray Tournament Feb. 25-27.
"I have no doubt that we have the right amount of depth and talent to take advantage of this tough schedule," Mullins said. "The team has squared-off against some great competition this fall to prepare them for what they will face come January."
Six of OU's previously-ranked opponents are from the Big 12 conference. The Sooners finished last season ranked No. 42, bringing the Big 12's total teams that finished in the top-75 to seven.
"The Big 12 will be about as strong and competitive this year as it has probably ever been," Mullins said. "I would not be surprised if six or seven teams from the Big 12 qualified for the NCAA tournament next May."
OU travels to Waco, Texas for the 2011 Big 12 Championships, April 28-May 1. The Sooners finished fifth in the Big 12 conference in 2010.
"If everyone can stay healthy this spring I believe we can build upon our achievements last year and have an outstanding season," Mullins said.
The Sooners host seven home matches in 2011, OU will face WSU (Jan. 23), Arkansas (Feb. 4), Texas Tech (March 25), Baylor (March 27), Tulsa (March 30), Kansas State (April 15) and Kansas (April 17) at home.