UM men's tennis announces 2005-06 schedule

Ole Miss Coach Billy Chadwick's Rebels open their fall season Sept. 9-11 in Tunica at The Ole Miss Fall Classic.

Coming off one of the best seasons in the history of the program, Ole Miss men's tennis head coach Billy Chadwick announced the 2005-06 schedule Tuesday.

The Rebels will open the fall season at the Ole Miss Fall Classic in Tunica, Miss., Sept. 9-11. Members of the team will also participate in the year's first major collegiate national championship, the ITA Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships, which will be held Oct. 3-9 in Tulsa, Okla.

The ITA Southeast Regional Championships will once again take place in Memphis, Tenn. Oct. 13-17. The second national championship tournament (ITA National Indoors) of the year takes place Nov. 3-6 in Columbus, Ohio.

Other tournaments in the fall include the Southern Intercollegiates Sept. 23-26 and the Bulldog Scramble Nov. 4-6, both in Athens, Ga.

Ole Miss kicks off the spring season Jan. 20-23 with the SEC Indoor Championships in New Orleans, La. The Rebels have enjoyed huge success at the SEC Indoor Championships, boasting a singles or doubles finalist nine consecutive years from 1993-2001, including five SEC Champions.

In their first dual match of the season, the Rebels will welcome Big East member Louisville, who with a 22-10 overall record in 2005, received their second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA Championships and ended the year ranked among the top 35 in the nation.

After hosting Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 5, the Rebels will take to the courts in Jackson, Miss., for the annual Mississippi Cup against Mississippi State. The Rebels will try to win their seventh straight cup and 16th consecutive win in the overall series.

The Rebels, who return six of the top seven from last year's outstanding team, should be in great position to earn their 13th straight invitation to the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Feb. 17-20 in Seattle, Wash. The Rebels, who own the fourth-longest consecutive appearance streak in the nation behind perennial national powers Stanford, UCLA and Duke, have reached the semifinals two straight years.

The back-to-back SEC Champion Rebels will kick off their bid to three-peat March 3 at Florida followed by a March 5 match at South Carolina. In their SEC home opener, the Rebels will welcome Alabama and Auburn March 10 and 12.

The Rebels have won four straight SEC West titles going undefeated (20-0) against Western Division opponents since 2002.

Following that weekend, the Rebels will be tested, with six of their next seven on the road, including SEC foes Vanderbilt (March 24), Kentucky (March 26), LSU (March 31) and Arkansas (April 2).

The Rebels conclude the regular season at home with Tennessee (April 7), Georgia (April 9) and arch-rival Mississippi State (April 15).

"We have developed a tremendous following at home, and it is a big part of our success," said Chadwick, a 2006 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame inductee. "The SEC is the strongest conference in the country, and I know our fans will be excited about this outstanding slate of home matches."

The SEC Tournament will be held April 20-23 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships will be May 12-13 at various sites across the country. The 2006 season will mark the first year that the Men's and Women's NCAA Championships will be played at the same site. Stanford will be the inaugural host in Palo Alto, Calif.

In addition to capturing the overall SEC Championship in 2005 for the second year in a row, and claiming their fourth straight SEC West title, the Rebels advanced to the NCAA Final Four and ended the year ranked No. 3 in the nation. Joining the nucleus of last year's championship team will be transfer Christopher Rea, who played No. 2 and 3 for Southern Mississippi last year.

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