By Ryan Kasmiersky, January 5, 2011, 10:11 a.m.
North Texas tennis debuted at No. 66 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's pre-season poll released late Tuesday afternoon.
The Mean Green will begin the season ranked for the first time under head coach Sujay Lama after winning the Sun Belt Conference title last year and making the program's first NCAA tournament appearance.
Looking ahead on the schedule, North Texas will have to face-off with some very strong squads early, as it hits the road against higher ranked opponents the first four matches of the year.
The Mean Green will head to Fayetteville, Ark., Jan 22 to take-on the No. 22 Arkansas Razorbacks and will play against the No. 59 Oklahoma State Cowboys on its way back to Denton on Jan. 23.
From there, North Texas will head to the west coast, Berkeley, Calif. to be exact, to participate in the ITA Kick-Off weekend and step onto the court against the No. 10 Cal Bears. Depending on the outcome of that match, the Mean Green will either see No. 41 St. Mary's or No. 51 TCU.
With challenge comes the opportunity to make some major waves early and establish North Texas as the preeminent power in Sun Belt Conference tennis.
Remember, the Mean Green took No. 32 Tulsa to the brink last year in the NCAA tournament and this team appears to be better than last year's squad. Oh yeah, No. 32 Tulsa makes a trip to the Waranch Tennis Complex March 6