GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNCG men's tennis announced its 2020 spring schedule this Friday, with five NCAA Championship tournament teams highlighting this year's slate. The Spartans non-conference schedule will include some of the top talent in the country this upcoming season, with ACC-foes No. 2 Wake Forest and No. 23 NC State both on the docket.
"The non-conference schedule is built to test our mettle, toughen us up so to speak," said Head Coach Jeff Trivette. "We are playing two teams that at one point last year were both ranked in the top 10 in the country. Our boys will look at this as a challenge and a test to see how far we have come this year. Outside of our two ACC opponents, we are also playing numerous conference champions and NCAA qualifiers. Our ultimate goal is to qualify for NCAA play and this year's experience will certainly prepare us for that path."
The Spartans will open the new campaign at home on February 9th, hosting Winthrop for a head-to-head matchup. The Eagles won't be UNCG's only Big South matchup of the month however, taking its first road trip of 2020 to Radford just two days later.
The Southern Conference season will officially open on the 15th when the Spartans host 2019 SoCon Regular Season Champs Furman. The Paladins will be one of just three conference opponents the Spartans will play at UNCG Tennis Courts this coming season, with Samford traveling to Greensboro on March 7th and Mercer arriving on April 4th.
UNCG will play matches against UNCW and FGCU on the 21st and 22nd in Wilmington, facing a Seahawks side that came within a match of winning the CAA tournament last year and an Eagles squad that reached the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Spartans open March on back-to-back contests against SoCon Tournament Champs ETSU and Wofford, before matching up with nearby Wake Forest. Winners of the 2018 National Championship, the Demon Deacons reached as far as the finals in last year's NCAA tournament, falling to No. 2 Texas in the championship final. They currently have three athletes ranked by the ITA in singles, and are coming off a 2019 campaign in which they dropped just four team contests all year.
Wake won't be the Spartans' only ACC opponent in 2020, with UNCG traveling to NC State on the 13th, following home matches against Samford, Navy and Presbyterian. The Wolf Pack and the Midshipmen both reached the 2019 NCAA Championship tournament, while State advanced to the second round before losing to Tennessee.
In addition to SoCon matchups against the Citadel and Chattanooga, the Spartans will host Davidson and Gardner-Webb in March, while traveling to East Carolina on the 26th of the month.
April kicks off at home against Mercer, with UNCG rounding out the regular season at Elon and Campbell. This year's Southern Conference Championship will be hosted by Chattanooga from April 17-19th, as UNCG looks to build off the 22nd straight tournament appearance it clinched during the 2019 season.
"Our guys are obviously excited for the Wake Forest and NC State matches," said Trivette. "We have a group that can't wait to test themselves against the best in the country. We are also jumping at the chance to prove that last year's conference finish was an anomaly. That are ready to get into conference play and claim another conference title. We had moments last year that we proved to ourselves, we were as good as anybody in the Southern Conference. We were inconsistent and youth got in our way. I believe that with another year under our belts, we are ready to show our maturity and willingness to do whatever it takes to win a title."
-- UNCG –