POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist men's tennis team has finalized its 2013 spring schedule as it looks to compete for the program's 11th Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship in the past 16 seasons. Marist will play teams from 10 different conferences this spring, including the four teams that won their respective 2012 conference championship.
"As a team, we are very excited for the level of competition we will be playing this season," senior and team co-captain Joris Van Eck said. "Each player shows great dedication to our goal of winning the MAAC Championship and playing in the NCAA Tournament in May."
The team started play in the fall and, through two tournaments already this semester, holds a 3-1 record in dual matches including a 4-2 win over UConn of the Big East back in October. Individually, Joseph Dube (Livonia, Mich.) is 17-2 overall in singles, including a perfect 6-0 this spring. Dalen Klassen (St. Louis, Mo.) sports a 16-5 singles' recordl while Van Eck (Ospel, The Netherlands) is 13-6.
The Red Foxes play their next dual match on Feb. 24 at Army, the 2012 Patriot League champions. Two weekends ago, Marist defeated the Black Knights at the Army Challenge by a 4-3 score.
The Red Foxes will travel to New Haven, Conn. on the first weekend of March to compete in the Yale Three-Way Tournament. Marist will play dual matches against the host Bulldogs, Stony Brook and Fairleigh Dickinson. Last season, Stony Brook won the America East championship while Fairleigh Dickinson was crowned champions of the NEC.
During the week of spring break, Marist will head south to Washington D.C to take on a pair of non-conference opponents. The Red Foxes will play the University of the District of Columbia, a Division II member of the East Coast Conference, on March 20 before playing Big East-foe Georgetown on March 21.
MAAC play begins the following week when the Red Foxes go to Fairfield to play the 2012 MAAC Champions in a midweek match on Wednesday, March 27.
The Red Foxes will play their first home matches during the first week of April when Hofstra and Fordham visit Poughkeepsie. The match versus Hofstra will be on Monday, April 1 at 2 p.m. while Fordham will come the following day for a 3 p.m. match.
Marist heads back on the road for a neutral site matchup with Xavier, the 2012 Atlantic 10 champions, on Friday, April 5. The match will be played in the Bronx.
A six-match home-stand follows as the Red Foxes will be home for 11 days, starting with Boston University at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.
Siena comes to Marist for a midweek MAAC match on Tuesday, April 9 at 3:30 p.m.
The final non-conference match of the season will feature NJIT when the Highlanders come to Poughkeepsie for a Saturday morning match on April 13 at 11 a.m.
The following day, the Red Foxes will host a MAAC doubleheader as they will play Loyola (Md.) at 10 a.m. before taking on Rider at 2 p.m. Saint Peter's closes out the home-stand on Wednesday, April. 17 at 4 p.m.
The Red Foxes travel to Niagara to close out the regular season with a noon matchup versus the Purple Eagles on Saturday, April 20.
The 2013 MAAC Men's and Women's Tennis Championships will take place at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, New Jersey from April 27-28. The winner of the MAAC Championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which will be played the weekend of May 10-12. Last week, the Red Foxes were picked to finish first in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.
"We are trying to play as aggressive of a schedule as possible to prepare us for the MAAC Tournament," Marist Head Coach Tim Smith said. "A number of the teams we are playing have won their conference championships and advanced to the NCAA Division I Tennis Tournament. This is a very experienced team and we return six of our top seven players from last year's team so I am expecting an opportunity to win the MAAC Championship and participate in our 11th NCAA Tournament."