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Georgia Gwinnett College announces spring tennis schedules

Georgia Gwinnett College released its spring tennis schedules, a combination of matchups with NCAA and NAIA opponents, this week.

The Grizzlies, in their first season of eligibility for rankings and postseason play and second season overall, warmed up with a brief fall season, but have the bulk of their schedule in the spring. The men’s first match is Feb. 5 at home vs. Dalton State, while the women open with Clayton State at home on Feb. 2. The home matches, free to the public, will be played at the GGC Tennis Facility off Collins Hill Road.

The 19-match men’s season features NCAA Division I programs Tennessee Tech and South Carolina State, NCAA Division II powers Armstrong Atlantic (ranked second nationally), Lander, S.C., (No. 7) and USC-Aiken (No. 24). Emory, the 2012 NCAA Division III champion, also is on the men’s slate along with other D-III powers Kenyon (Ohio) and Middlebury (Vt.). The NAIA opponents include Xavier (La.), Belhaven (Miss.) and William Carey (Miss.).

“We have assembled an extremely challenging schedule against all levels of collegiate tennis for our first season competing for postseason titles,” GGC head coach Chase Hodges said of the men’s team. “We are very excited to begin the pursuit of our team goals as we have very high expectations for our program. We have a talented group of players that will fight for every point and we can’t wait to get started.”

The women’s team faces NCAA D-I opponents Northern Illinois and South Carolina State, and a D-II schedule that features eight-time and defending national champion Armstrong Atlantic. Emory, the 2012 D-III runner-up, is on the schedule twice, while the tough NAIA matchups include William Carey, Xavier (La.), Brenau, SCAD Savannah and Coastal Georgia.

The women play 21 spring matches.

“Our women’s team will be tested against the best in the nation in our first season competing for postseason titles,” Hodges said. “We are very excited to begin the season as we have a mix of returning players and talented newcomers that will make for some very competitive matches this season.”

The Independent/Unaffiliated tournament takes place April 25 and 26 in New Orleans, and the NAIA national championships are May 13 through 17 in Mobile, Ala., for the nation’s final 24 teams.

TENNIS

Georgia Gwinnett College

Spring 2014 schedules

Men

Feb. 5 Dalton State

Feb. 8 at USC-Aiken

Feb. 9 South Carolina State

Feb. 14 at Belhaven

Feb. 15 Xavier (La.)*

Feb. 16 at William Carey*

Feb. 20 at Lander

Feb. 26 Morehouse

March 8 Kenyon

March 10 Tennessee Tech

March 12 at Armstrong Atlantic

March 13 at Coastal Georgia

March 15 at SCAD Savannah

March 22 at Emory

March 25 Middlebury

April 2 North Georgia

April 5 at Dalton State**

April 5 Martin Methodist**

April 7 at Georgia Perimeter

April 9 at Georgia Southwestern

*Hattiesburg, Miss.

**Dalton

Women

Feb. 2 Clayton State

Feb. 5 Dalton State

Feb. 8 Clark-Atlanta

Feb. 9 South Carolina State

Feb. 14 at Belhaven

Feb. 15 Xavier (La.)*

Feb. 16 at William Carey*

Feb. 19 West Georgia

Feb. 25 at Emory

March 4 at West Georgia

March 7 at Brenau

March 8 Kenyon

March 9 Northern Illinois

March 12 at Armstrong Atlantic

March 13 at Coastal Georgia

March 15 at SCAD Savannah

April 2 North Georgia

April 5 at Dalton State**

April 5 Martin Methodist**

April 9 at Georgia Southwestern

April 21 Emory

*Hattiesburg, Miss.

**Dalton