NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The 2018 Belmont Men's Tennis spring schedule is packed with tough non-conference competition that will help prepare the team for the always competitive Ohio Valley Conference slate.
"Like last year, we made our non-conference schedule very tough in order to give our guys great competition to prepare them for the OVC in March," said Head Coach Mauricio Antun. "We have a very young roster, so we want to play as many competitive matches as possible so we can acquire a good amount of experience when conference play starts."
From the start, Belmont dives head first into weighty competition, opening the season on the road at Tennessee on January 15. In fact, the Bruins only touch their home court the final weekend of the month after stops at IUPUI (January 20) and Ball State (January 21). The Battle of the Boulevard with long-time rival Lipscomb is set for January 26 before BU comes home to host UTSA (January 27) and Gardner-Webb (January 28).
"Some of the matches that we are really looking forward this year will be our season opening match against University of Tennessee and also our rematch against the reigning OVC champs, Tennessee Tech," Antun said.
The Bruins open the month of February at home before opening its longest road stretch of the season. The team hosts Kennesaw State on February 2 and in-state rival Chattanooga the following day. Belmont closes the month on the road with stops at Illinois State where it will face off against the Redbirds (February 11) and Wright State (February 10). The following weekend, BU travels to South Carolina for matches at Furman (February 17) and Wofford (February 18).
The road swing continues through the start of the month of March. The Bruins travel to New Orleans (March 6) and Southern Mississippi (March 7) before finally opening conference play on the road. Belmont travels to in-state rival Austin Peay on March 17 to conclude the long stretch on the road. Before heading out on the road to close the month at Eastern Illinois (March 30), BU hosts its final two non-conference opponents in Alabama A&M and Saint Louis, both on March 24.
April is laden with home matches for the Bruins as it moves closer to the OVC Tournament. Belmont hosts Eastern Kentucky on April 6 before traveling for its lone road match of the month at crosstown rival Tennessee State on April 12. BU closes the regular season at home, hosting Jacksonville State on April 13 and Tennessee Tech on April 14.
The 2018 OVC Tournament runs April 20-22 in Nashville at the Centennial Sportsplex.