EDWARDSVILLE — With the fall season about to get underway, SIUE men's tennis coach Jason Coomer announced his team's 2013-14 schedule.
"We've put together a challenging schedule for our men and look to improve upon the successes of last season," said Coomer.
SIUE began the fall season Friday at the two-day Saint Louis University Fall Invitational. SIUE won three singles flights and a doubles flight in its opening tournament of the season at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center.
Coomer said the fall tournament will give him an opportunity to see what level his players are after returning to campus from the summer.
"We understand as a team that we have quite a long way to get to where we want to be. I'm confident our players have the right attitude and work ethic that will allow them to reach the level they aspire," Coomer said.
The Cougars' first home event is Sept. 20-22 when SIUE welcomes Saint Louis, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, and UIC for the SIUE Fall Invitational. SIUE also is scheduled to compete at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regional in Tulsa, Okla., (Oct. 17-20).
Coomer has much to be hopeful about as the season opens as the Cougars return All-Conference selection junior Marten Jonsson (Pitea, Sweden). SIUE has eight returners in all, including senior Jacob Tanulanond (Tinley Park, Ill.); juniors Nicolas Vincent (Gatineau, Quebec) and Stephen Washuta (Newburgh, Ind.); and sophomores Patrick Gaffigan (Springfield, Ill.), Nico Kuehn (Berlin, Germany), and Jacob Perkins (Sellersburg, Ind.).
The lone addition to the squad is Matthew Hutchinson (Barbados). Hutchinson, a freshman, is expected to make a push for a spot in the starting lineup.
SIUE has five home matches this season beginning with IUPUI (Jan. 18) as well as OVC foes Jacksonville State (Mar. 22), Tennessee Tech (Mar. 23), Belmont (Apr. 12), and Tennessee State (Apr. 13).
The Cougars travel to six different states for dual matches. SIUE begins in Ohio against Dayton (Jan. 24) and Wright State (Jan. 25).
"We understand there will be no easy matches, but I'm confident our team will be up to the challenge," Coomer said.
SIUE has in-state matches at Northern Illinois (Jan. 7) and Chicago State (Feb. 8) before heading to Saint Louis (Feb. 21).
The team makes a southern trip to Louisiana before OVC play begins. SIUE faces Loyola-New Orleans (Mar. 8) and New Orleans (Mar. 9).
"Our schedule takes us to a different part of the country this year," said Coomer. "Along with the athletic competition side, this trip also will serve as a great opportunity to be educated on the resilience of the city of New Orleans."
The OVC schedule begins on the road for the Cougars. SIUE, the reigning OVC Sportsmanship Award winner, has away OVC events this season at Eastern Kentucky (Mar. 15), Morehead State (Mar. 16), Murray State (Mar. 29), Austin Peay (Mar. 30), and Eastern Illinois (Apr. 3).
The postseason OVC Tournament is scheduled for Apr. 18-20 in Nashville, Tenn.