BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Bowling Green State University head tennis coach Penny Dean has announced her team's schedule for the 2012-13 season. The Falcons of Dean and assistant coach Cindy Yonker will participate in four fall tournaments from September through early November, then will dive into dual-match play in January of 2013.
"We are excited about our schedule for the 2012-13 season," said Dean, who enters her 23rd year at the Falcon helm. "We feel this is a strong schedule that will prepare us for the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament matches.
For the first time since 1997-98, the Falcons will not open the season at home. BGSU begins the '12-13 season with a trip to Dublin, Ohio, for Ohio State's Muirfield Village Collegiate Championships (Sept. 14-16). The following weekend will see the team return to Keefe Courts for the BGSU Invitational, which the Falcons have hosted every year since 1993-94.
This year's edition of the BGSU Invitational will take place on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22, at Keefe Courts, located on the north side of Stadium Drive between Warren Steller (baseball) Field and Meserve (softball) Field. A total of nine teams from throughout the region, including the Falcons, are scheduled to participate.
The Falcons' other fall tournaments will take them to two other Mid-American Conference venues, as the Brown and Orange will head to Toledo for the Rocket Invitational (Oct. 12-13) and to Kalamazoo for the Western Michigan Super Challenge (Nov. 9-11).
"I am looking forward to an exciting and successful fall season, beginning with the Muirfield Village Collegiate Championships in mid-September," said Dean. "Our team is motivated to get off to a good start with tough competition.
"We always enjoy hosting the BGSU Invitational, and we have several other solid tournaments around the Midwest to test us this fall and get us ready for the spring schedule," said Dean. "And, we know there will certainly be no easy matches when we get into conference play in March."
When the team resumes play in the spring, the Falcons are scheduled to play a total of 11 home duals, including seven at the Perrysburg Tennis Center and four at Keefe Courts. All seven of BGSU's spring non-conference home matches are scheduled to be held at the PTC, while the Falcons' four MAC home matches will be played at Keefe, weather permitting.
The spring schedule begins, however, with a trip to South Bend, Ind., to face Notre Dame on Jan 18. The Irish have won five consecutive Big East Conference championships.
The following day (Jan. 19) sees the Falcons host Duquesne in Perrysburg. After a trip to the Windy City to face Drake (Jan. 26) and Chicago State (Jan. 27), the Brown and Orange will return to Northwest Ohio for a season-long six-match homestand during the month of February.
Opponents at the PTC during that stretch include Youngstown State (Feb. 2), Evansville (Feb. 3), Cleveland State (Feb. 8), Cincinnati (Feb. 9), IPFW (Feb. 22) and California (Pa.) (Feb. 24).
BGSU returns to Chicago for a second time during the spring schedule, taking on perennial Horizon League power UIC on March 17. That match closes the pre-conference slate.
MAC play begins with a home weekend against arch-rival Toledo (March 22) and Eastern Michigan (March 23). Ball State (April 12) and Miami (April 13) are also scheduled to visit Keefe Courts, while the Falcons hit the road for league matches against Northern Illinois (March 29), Akron (April 5), Buffalo (April 6) and Western Michigan (April 20).
Following the WMU match, the Falcons will prepare for the MAC Championships, which will be held from April 26-28 in Muncie, Ind.
The Falcons concluded the 2011-12 season with an overall record of 10-10. BGSU went 4-4 in MAC regular-season play, earning the fifth seed for the MAC Championships, and the Falcons advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament for the second consecutive spring.
"Our team is inspired by the addition of two outstanding freshmen in Katie Brozovich and Drew Fillis," said Dean. "Four seniors will lead the way as they add to their three successful years, and we know our two juniors will continue to play amazing tennis at the top of the lineup."
The senior class is comprised of Maddy Eccleston, Katie Grubb, Mary Hill and Jade Johnson. Juniors Nikki Chiricosta and Emily Reuland round out the returning players, and are joined on the roster by Brozovich and Fillis for the 2012-13 season.