Men’s tennis announces 2017-18 schedule


SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University men’s tennis head coach Ron Gendron is pleased to announce the 2017-18 schedule, arguably the toughest in program history.

The Bulldogs’ schedule features a full slate of fall tournaments and is followed by a daunting spring that includes 26 matches.

“This is our most aggressive schedule to date,” Gendron said. “It does several things: it gives our players an opportunity against the best in the nation, allows us to travel to all three military academies in one year and puts us in New York and Oklahoma City, which allows us to visit two great memorials.”

Bryant’s fall opens in late September with the Ivy Plus (Sept. 22-24) at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. The following weekend, the Black and Gold will stay close to home and compete in the Brown Invitational (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) in Providence.

The Bulldogs will then compete in the Farnsworth Invitational hosted by Princeton on Columbus Day Weekend before taking part in the ITA Regional Championships in New Haven. Bryant closes out the fall with the Bryant Invitational on Nov. 4-5.

A 26-match spring schedule starts in earnest the second week of January when the Bulldogs make a weekend trip to the state of Oklahoma. Bryant opens the weekend on Friday against Tulsa before returning to Norman on Saturday to take on the University of Oklahoma in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament First Round. The weekend concludes on Sunday in Stillwater as the Black and Gold face Lamar and Oklahoma State. Bryant faced the Cowboys in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2015.

Bryant closes the month of January with single matches against Buffalo and Harvard. The Bulldogs have never beaten the Bulls or the Crimson in program history.

Things don’t get easier for the Black and Gold in February, as they trek across the Northeast. Bryant crosses its first military academy off the list the opening weekend, traveling to Annapolis for matches against Richmond, Navy and Northeast Conference foe Mount St. Mary’s.

Bryant welcomes Binghamton to Smithfield on Friday, Feb. 9 for its only home match of the month. The Bulldogs then head north to Hanover, N.H., to take on Dartmouth that Sunday.

A trip to Brooklyn, N.Y., and Newark, N.J., follows the next weekend. Bryant will play an NEC match against St. Francis Brooklyn on Friday, Feb. 16, and then travels to Newark to face NJIT on Saturday.

The Black and Gold wrap up the month of February with a trip to West Point, N.Y., on Feb. 24 to take on Army.

Bryant opens March with a trip to the Air Force Academy for a three-match weekend. The Bulldogs will face Dayton and Air Force on Saturday and then close the weekend with a match against Weber State on Sunday.

Two weeks later, Bryant will head south for three matches in Wilmington, N.C. The Bulldogs play UNC Wilmington on Friday, Mar. 16, UNC Greensboro on Saturday, Mar. 17 and Chattanooga on Sunday, Mar. 18.

Starting with a home match against Fairleigh Dickinson on March 24, Bryant plays five of its final six regular-season matches in Smithfield. The only match that is not at home is an April 1 trip to Brown. The Bulldogs then close out the regular season with matches against Connecticut (Apr. 6), Quinnipiac (Apr. 8), Boston University (Apr. 11) and Sacred Heart (Apr. 15).

“This schedule gives us an opportunity against many great opponents we have never played before in Air Force, UNCW, UNCG, Richmond, Weber St. and Tulsa,” Gendron said. “It also features some of the top-ranked programs in the country in Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Lamar, Tulsa, Harvard, and Dartmouth.”

The NEC Championships are scheduled for Apr. 19-22 in West Windsor, N.J. Bryant is the four-time defending champion.