TOLEDO, OH – University of Toledo men’s tennis coach Al Wermer released his team’s 2013-14 schedule on Aug. 9. The schedule features the Rockets facing five Big Ten schools, including a trip to Columbus, OH to face the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes.
In addition to Ohio State, the Rockets travel to Big Ten opponents Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana and Purdue, along with trips to Big East member Louisville and ACC member Notre Dame. The team also travels to Niceville, FL during their fall schedule for the USTA $10,000 Futures professional event.
"No doubt that this is our most challenging schedule ever,” said Wermer, who is entering his 18th year as head coach. “We love this fall trip to a Futures Event to give our players more exposure to life on the pro circuit. But the beginning of our winter season is outright blazing.”
The fall portion of the schedule begins with a trip to the Purdue Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, IN from Sept. 20-22 before the Rockets return home for the UT Rocket Invitational from Oct. 4-6. The team hits the road again for the ITA Midwest Regional at Ohio State (Oct. 17-21) and the USTA $10,000 Futures (Nov. 1-6) to finish the fall campaign.
On Jan. 11, the Midnight Blue & Gold begin a tough stretch with a match against Michigan State in East Lansing, MI, followed by a trip to Ann Arbor, MI to face Michigan (Jan. 18), a road match in South Bend, IN against Notre Dame (Jan. 19), and back to West Lafayette to face Purdue (Jan. 20). UT returns home for one match against Duquesne on Jan. 25, then hits the road again for a match against the Buckeyes on Jan. 26. The Rockets match up against the Cardinals in Louisville, KY on Jan. 30 and finish their slate of Big Ten opponents on Feb. 21 in Bloomington, IN against Indiana.
The team will hold their annual Alumni Day at the beginning of the spring season in Key Biscayne, FL on March 1, then will stay in the state for matches against Embry Riddle (March 2), Florida Atlantic (March 3) and Xavier (March 5) at Boca Raton, FL.
The Mid-American Conference schedule begins with trips to Buffalo on March 23, Ball State on March 30, and Northern Illinois on April 12. The regular season concludes with a home MAC match against Western Michigan on April 19. The MAC Championships are hosted at Ball State this year from April 25-26.
Key contributions are expected from junior Nicholas Wong (14-8 singles, 16-9 doubles), sophomore Ryan Jorgensen (4-2 singles, 13-7 doubles) and the team’s lone senior Ben Brocker (6-6 singles, 2-0 doubles). The Rockets will also welcome newcomers junior Mark Singnil, who transferred from Harding University in Arkansas, and freshman Stjepan Sisko, who arrives in Toledo from Braca Radic School in Croatia.
The Rockets lose key performers from last season’s team in first-team All-MAC selection Tomas Stillman, second-team All-MAC performer Francisco Stuardo, and graduating seniors Bryant Dudzik and Terence Weingand. Stuardo will join the program this year as a student assistant coach.
“Our goal, as usual, is to improve each day, and peak in the MAC season and MAC Championships,” Wermer said. “These guys came here to develop their games versus great competition, to win MAC Championships, and have a great team experience. I'm very excited for a fantastic year with this group."