CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina University men's tennis Head Coach Chris Powers announced the 2009 schedule today, Thursday, Dec. 11. The Chanticleers will play 12 matches at the BillyNicholsTennisCenter in Conway and hit the road for eight contests. Coastal Carolina will face four teams that participated in the 2008 NCAA tournament, including conference foe Radford, who ousted the Chants in the semifinal at the Big South Championship.
"I like the schedule a lot this season," commented Powers. "In the past, because we were trying to build, I started with some weaker opponents but we didn’t do that this year and we get going right from the beginning with Campbell."
The Chants open the 2009 schedule at Campbell (Jan. 30), who defeated Coastal Carolina 5-2 last season. The home slate will start Tuesday, Feb. 3 when Coker arrives for a meeting with the Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina hosts Community Day on the Clay Saturday, Feb. 7, when Wofford and MountOlive come to town. Coastal Carolina will then travel to Georgia to pay a visit to Mercer (Feb. 12) and Georgia Southern (Feb. 13). The Chanticleers open Big South Conference play Sunday, Feb. 15, hosting Gardner-Webb, who joins the league this year. After getting together with The Citadel (Feb. 20) and a trip to Longwood (Feb. 26), the Chanticleers head up to Lynchburg, Va., for a meeting with Liberty (Feb. 27).
The Chants will have an advantage the next five matches, as they will play on their home courts when Radford (March 1), who finished ranked 69th in the country last season, drops in for a visit. UNC Wilmington (March 5) and WakeForest (March 12) take a short trip to the Grand Strand, before James Madison (March 14) and East Carolina (March 15) step on the court with the Chanticleers.
"We are lucky because we get to play at home more than we get to play away because people like to come to Myrtle Beach," Powers continued. "The best part of our schedule, where we project the toughest teams in the conference, is we get them all on our courts this year. We are also looking forward to hosting WakeForest because it's not every day you get to host a team from the ACC." The Demon Deacons are one of seven teams from the ACC that qualified for the NCAA tournament.
Coastal Carolina will play its final four road matches beginning at South Carolina State (March 20), who won its fourth MEAC title in five years and made its second appearance in the NCAA tournament in three seasons in 2008. UNC Charlotte (March 28) and two conference matches follow at Presbyterian (March 29) and UNC Asheville (March 30).
The Chanticleers wrap up the 2009 regular season at home against Winthrop (April 4) and NCAA participant Binghamton (April 8). The Chants final tilt with the Bearcats will make a great Senior Day match-up as Binghamton has advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times in the past six years, including an appearance in 2008.
The Big South Men's Tennis Championship is slated for April 16-18 and will be hosted by Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C.
Coastal Carolina finished 10-12 overall and 3-3 in the Big South in 2008. The Chanticleers earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament and defeated No. 5 Liberty 4-0 in the opening round, picking up their first Conference Tournament victory since 1998. The Chants then fell to eventual Big South Champion Radford 4-0 in the semifinals.