DENTON, Texas (6/25/09) Following the best conference finish in school history last season, North Texas swimming & diving head coach Joe Dykstra announced on Thursday the 2009-10 schedule that features several nationally-ranked programs and three Sun Belt teams.
“I am really happy with how the schedule came together this year,” said Dykstra. “It is well-balanced competitively featuring a range of opponents. We get the challenge of facing numerous top 15 teams both in duals and at the prestigious Texas Invitational. This is also the first time in my tenure that we’ll face 3 conference opponents in dual meets in one season. With the team we have for this upcoming year, this schedule should really make for some exciting meets and hopefully prepare us to challenge for the Sun Belt Championship in February.”
The Mean Green hosts the first big meet of the season at the North Texas Relays in Mansfield on October 9. NT will compete against the likes of SMU, TCU, Houston, Tulane, Missouri State, Centenary, and Incarnate Word. The Mean Green placed fourth at last year’s North Texas Relays finishing ahead of Missouri State.
North Texas will then swim in two home meets at the Pohl Recreation Center against the Tulane Green Wave on October 10 and Sun Belt foe New Orleans on October 17. The Mean Green is 0-2 all-time versus the Green Wave with the last meeting taking place in 2004. Against UNO, North Texas holds a 3-0 series mark including a 171-116 win last year in New Orleans. At the 2009 SBC Championships, NT finished third with the Privateers placing fifth.
On October 24, the squad travels to Colorado to face Denver and Utah. DU finished second at the 2009 SBC Championships and had one swimmer, Michele Lowry, qualify for the NCAA Championships. Utah competed at the 2009 NCAA Championships and faced the Mean Green on January 10 last season in Denton where the Utes prevailed. This was the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Moving into November, the Mean Green competes in Dallas against SMU on Nov. 6. The Mustangs finished 19th at the 2009 NCAA Championships and were ranked in the Top 15 during the 08-09 season. SMU defeated North Texas last year at the Mean Green Duals in Denton.
On December 3-5, NT will participate in the Texas Invitational in Austin.
To begin 2010, North Texas faces Sun Belt opponent UALR on January 6 followed by the Arkansas Razorbacks on January 9. NT is a perfect 4-0 against the Trojans of UALR with the previous meeting in Little Rock in 2004. In 2008-09, Arkansas was ranked in the Top 25 and qualified for the NCAA Championships. The Razorbacks won at North Texas last season.
The regular season schedule closes with the Mean Green squaring off against four Texas schools. The first is in Ft. Worth against TCU on January 15. The Horned Frogs won in Denton this past season, but two years ago North Texas defeated TCU in Ft. Worth. This was the Mean Green’s first-ever victory over the Horned Frogs. This also was the case with Houston who North Texas beat two seasons ago for the school’s first win over the Cougars. NT will host UH on January 22 who finished 17th at the 2009 NCAA Championships. The Rice Owls will compete in Denton the next day who the Mean Green last met on January 19, 2008. The final meet of the season will be in College Station on February 6 against Texas A&M who finished No. 8 at the NCAA Championships last season.
The postseason begins with the Sun Belt Championships on February 17-20 in Nashville, Tenn. and the NCAA Championships take place a month later in West Lafayette, Ind. on March 18-20.