INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian University men's tennis team is gearing up for the 2014 season and their run to the NAIA National Tournament in May. The Knights will take the court on Friday vs. IUPUI at the West Indy Racquet Club.
In the fall, the Knights posted a 9-4 overall record and a 5-3 record in Crossroads League action before being crowned the league tournament champion. The Knights headed into the league tournament as the four seed and went on to beat Goshen and upset Grace and Huntington on their way to the Crossroads League Tournament title. Both victories over one-seeded Grace and two-seeded Huntington came on the road and were done in dominating fashion. The Knights defeated Grace 5-3 on October 3 and then turned around and defeated Huntington 5-1 on October 5 to take home the programs second tournament title.
The Crossroads League is the only NAIA league that plays its conference schedule in the fall, so the Knights will now face a rigorous spring schedule to prepare for the NAIA National Tournament in Mobile, Ala. The Knights schedule this spring pins them against two NCAA Division I teams in IUPUI and Valparaiso. MU will also face NCAA Division II University of Indianapolis this season to go with five teams that finished the fall season in the NAIA top 25 or receiving votes in the top 25.
"We're excited to be back from winter break and getting right into match play" said head coach Steve Mackell
, when asked about the upcoming spring schedule. "Our spring schedule is going to be very tough, but I really want to push our guys so they'll be match tough for our trip to Mobile, Ala., for the NAIA National Tournament in May. We'll be gearing up for nationals by playing two NCAA Division I opponents, one NCAA Division II opponent, a top ranked JUCO school, and 4 teams that finished ranked last season in the NAIA postseason coaching poll."
The Knights will jump start their road to Mobile on Friday, January 17 at the West Indy Racquet Club vs. IUPUI. The Knights will then finish the month of January at the University of Indianapolis on January 31. For more information on Marian University men's tennis follow MUKNIGHTS.com and the Marian University men's tennis team on Facebook at Marian Men's Tennis.
NAIA Top 25 spring opponents:
#16 Northwood (Fla.) - spring break match
#19 Olivet Nazarene - March 25, 2014
#24 Davenport - March 22, 2014
#25 Webber International (Fla.) - spring break match
#RV St. Francis (Ill.) - March 28, 2014
NCAA Division I opponents:
IUPUI - January 17, 2014
Valparaiso - February 8, 2014
NCAA Division II opponent:
University of Indianapolis - January 31, 2014