NORMAN – Oklahoma men’s tennis head coach Nick Crowell and the Sooners announced their spring schedule Thursday.
“We are very excited to get this 2018 season started. Our guys have worked extremely hard this fall and are ready to go," said Crowell.
"Our schedule as always features the best of the best. That's what we are trying to do here at Oklahoma is play the best teams in the country in and out of conference. I want our players to play the best competition possible and prepare us for April and May during championship time."
In their second season under Crowell, the Sooners will look to build on a 17-11 overall record that culminated in an NCAA Sweet 16 finish and the 2017 NCAA Doubles title.
The spring slate features matchups with 16 teams that made the 2017 NCAA tournament, with three of those quarterfinalists. 13 of the Sooners’ 2018 opponents finished last season ranked in the ITA top 30.
The Sooners will play 14 matches in Norman, beginning with a six-match homestand to open the season, facing Creighton and Bryant in a doubleheader on Jan. 13, followed by Arkansas (Jan. 14) and another doubleheader with Arizona and Abilene Christian (Jan. 20).
Oklahoma will then host a trio of teams for ITA Kickoff Weekend for the sixth consecutive year, with Northwestern, Georgia Tech and Illinois coming to Norman, Jan. 27-28.
Should the Sooners win two matches during Kickoff Weekend, they will earn a bid to the 2018 ITA National Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Washington, Feb. 16-19. Oklahoma took home the ITA National Indoor title in 2015, and has qualified for the 16-team field in each of its last five seasons.
OU will take its first road trip on Feb. 9 to to visit in-state rival Tulsa prior to the ITA National Indoor Championships.
The Sooners head to Orlando, Fla., for a pair of matches with USF on Feb. 23 and Texas A&M on Feb. 24. OU will square off with Aggies as part of USTA College MatchDay, an event that showcases 14 of the nation's top college tennis programs. The match will be played at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, the only off-campus tennis venue in the United States built specifically for college tennis.
OU returns to the Headington Family Tennis Center for a three-match homestand with Kentucky (March 2), followed by Wichita State (March 8) and Drake (March 10), before heading west to face 2017 NCAA quarterfinalist UCLA on March 15.
Crowell and the squad return home to face UMKC on March 24 and Fresno State March 26, then travel to Ithaca, N.Y. for a clash with Cornell on March 31.
The Big 12 slate features four teams that made the 2017 NCAA tournament, with TCU and Texas finishing as quarterfinalists and Baylor advancing to the third round.
The Sooners kick off conference action with Baylor on April 6 and Texas Tech on April 8, both in Norman. The team will visit TCU (April 13), Texas (April 15) and Oklahoma State (April 21) to close out regular-season play before returning to Austin, Texas, for the Big 12 Championships.
Admission to home matches is always free. For updates, follow @OU_MTennis on Twitter.