Wednesday Marks Open of Southland Tennis Seasons

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KEY BISCAYNE, FL – MARCH 25: A detail of a play as they get set to serve the ball during the Sony Ericsson Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 25, 2011 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

FRISCO, Texas — The Southland Conference begins its 58th season of men’s tennis and 39th edition of women’s tennis this week with seven programs in action from Wednesday to Sunday.

The UIW men hit the court first, facing Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., at 5 p.m. CT Wednesday. The Cardinals enter the 2021 season with plenty of new faces with 11 freshmen on the roster.

The men from Lamar and Abilene Christian embark on their spring campaigns at Baylor at noon and 6 p.m., respectively. The Wildcats wrap up the weekend with a doubleheader at Texas Tech at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday.

ACU will be without Jonathan Sheehy, who graduated after earning a pair of Southland Player of the Week honors and cracking the top 100 of the Oracle/ITA Division I Men’s Singles Rankings in 2020 before the season was cut short.

Meanwhile, Lamar returns all three of its All-Southland honorees from 2019 in juniors Nicolas Mayr and Carlos Paton Canal and sophomore Joshua Taylor.

Still the defending Southland tournament champions after hoisting the trophy for an eighth time in 2019, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi opens its 2021 campaign with a doubleheader at Prairie View A&M on Jan. 20. Nicholls will make its 2020 debut when it visits Prairie View on Jan. 29, and New Orleans begins against Rice on Jan. 31.

Central Arkansas, who was tied atop the Southland women’s tennis standings when the season was suspended, begins the season Friday against Wyoming and Tulsa at 1 and 4 p.m., respectively, in Tulsa. The Bears are led by sophomore Chunxi Xin, who was the league’s Freshman of the Year in 2019 and boasts an 11-4 career singles mark in league play.

ACU’s women’s program will also be in action Friday at SMU. The Wildcats continue against TCU on Saturday while UCA takes on Louisiana Tech at 10 a.m. in Tulsa. Saturday marks the season opener for McNeese, who visits Rice at 1 p.m. The Cowgirls wrap up the weekend at Houston at noon Sunday.

Sam Houston State, who joined UCA at 4-0 in league play before the season was cut short, starts the season with a home doubleheader against Prairie View A&M at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. Reigning conference Player of the Year Sahaja Yamalapalli enters her junior campaign with a 13-2 top-flight record in conference action.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Lamar open with doubleheaders against Prairie View on Jan. 20 and 22, respectively, and UIW hits the courts the next day against Louisiana at home.

Stephen F. Austin and New Orleans embark on their spring seasons on Jan. 28, when the Ladyjacks host ULM and the Privateers visit crosstown foe Tulane. The following day marks the season opener for Nicholls (at Prairie View).

Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana start off on Jan. 30 as the Demons visit LSU-Alexandria and the Lions travel to Alcorn State.

Lamar is set to host the Southland Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships April 24-25 at the Beaumont Municipal Tennis Center. For the complete Southland Conference men’s tennis schedule, please, visit here.  The Conference women’s tennis schedule can be found here.

Southland Conference men’s tennis began in 1964, while women’s tennis competition started in 1983.

{Courtesy: Press Release from the Southland Conference}

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