The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team has released its spring schedule for the 2019 campaign.
Valpo will begin its second season of Summit League play after reaching the league championship match in its first year as an affiliate member in the conference. That marked the fourth consecutive season Valpo has advanced to a league championship match.
After opening the dual match season by hosting Cardinal Stritch at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith on Jan. 25, Valpo will play host to former league rival Green Bay on Feb. 1. The Phoenix finished 12-10 last year and 5-2 in Horizon League play. Valpo and Green Bay met in the Horizon League championship matches in 2015 and 2016 with the two teams splitting those meetings.
Valpo will meet Marquette again this season, this time hosting the Golden Eagles on Feb. 3 in Griffith after traveling to Milwaukee a year ago. Valpo will face another former league foe for the first time since joining the Summit League on Feb. 9 by hosting Youngstown State. The two teams played a close 4-3 match the last time they faced off with Valpo earning the narrow victory in a Horizon League semifinal match on April 29, 2017.
Eastern Illinois and Valpo will play against one another for the fifth consecutive season on Feb. 15 at Match Point before conference play begins at Denver on Feb. 19 and continues at Oral Roberts on Feb. 22. Valpo and Denver engaged in two tight showdowns last season with the Pioneers winning 4-3 in the regular season and Valpo winning 4-3 in a Summit League semifinal.
After facing Oral Roberts, Valpo will stay in Tulsa, Okla. to play a neutral-site match against Lamar on Feb. 23. That will be followed by a trip to Kalamazoo, Mich. to face Western Michigan on Feb. 28.
This year’s spring break trip will be to Orlando, Fla. where Valpo will take on Hampton, Furman, Rollins College, Appalachian State and Northern Illinois. Butler will come to Northwest Indiana for a March 23 match before conference play continues at Illinois State (March 30), vs. defending champion Drake (April 6) and vs. Omaha (April 13). The final match of the regular season will take place on April 20 as North Dakota comes to town. North Dakota is the newest member of the Summit League in men's tennis.
The Summit League Tournament is slated for April 26-27 in Tulsa, Okla. as veteran head coach Jim Daugherty’s squad attempts to clinch its third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years.