DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake head women's tennis coach Paul Thomson has announced a challenging 21-match spring schedule for the Bulldogs.
"We had a very challenging fall schedule playing more matches and against better-quality teams than in the past," Thomson commented. "We are hopeful that this fall will prepare us for what we have in store this spring. With five freshmen, we felt like it was important to get them as much early match play as possible this fall. All five freshmen will see time on the courts in the spring and will play a big part in moving forward in the conference."
The Bulldogs get their spring season underway as the squad visits Chicago, Ill., for matches versus Chicago State (Jan. 25) and Bowling Green (Jan. 26).
The home campaign commences with a pair of matches at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center on Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) as the Bulldogs host Gustavus Adolphus and UMKC.
A week later (Feb. 8-10), Drake faces Milwaukee, North Dakota and UTEP (Texas-El Paso) in the three-day Drake Mid-America Jamboree Team Dual. Also competing in the tournament but not battling Drake are South Dakota and UIC (Illinois at Chicago).
An in-state showdown at Iowa looms on Feb. 16 before Drake visits Kansas on Feb. 24.
The Bulldogs return for a brief three-match homestand entertaining Central Arkansas (March 2), Northern Illinois (March 2) and Nebraska Omaha (March 3).
The Bulldogs visit in-state rival Iowa State on March 8 before hosting Bradley in a non-conference tilt on March 15.
The Bulldogs kick off their MVC slate on March 31, at Northern Iowa, and conclude league play on the road against Illinois State on April 21.
In between, Drake hosts league matches with Creighton (April 6), Wichita State (April 7), Southern Illinois (April 13) and Evansville (April 14).
Drake will battle for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament crown when the league title is up for grabs in Wichita, Kan. (April 26-28).