WTEN Announces Tough 2017-18 Slate
Aug. 9, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash.--Coming off a 17-4 record and its first-ever appearance in the West Coast Conference Championship finals, the Gonzaga women's tennis team is looking to take another step in 2017-18, and head coach D.J. Gurule has put together a tough schedule designed to do that.
In the spring's dual season, the Bulldogs will play six teams who made the NCAA Tournament last season - Arizona State, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Pepperdine, and Wichita State - and can add one more in Tulsa. Five of their opponents won or shared a conference championship, and five ended the season ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's top 50.
Before spring arrives, however, Gonzaga will play in five tournaments. 2017-18 begins at home with the Bulldog Invite, which runs Sept. 29-Oct. 1 inside The Stevens Center. During the season opener, there's a possibility that two Zags - Nevada Apollo and Sophie Whittle - earn spots in the ITA All-American Championships that run Sept. 30-Oct. 8 in Los Angeles. That tournament, which takes place at the Riviera Tennis Club, brings the top singles players and doubles teams in the nation together for an early challenge.
Next, the Zags head to Palo Alto, Calif., and the ITA Northwest Regionals, held this year from Oct. 19-23, and they'll finish off the fall at home with the Gonzaga Invite Nov. 3-5. In January, Gonzaga will get in one more tournament: the Zag Maui Invite, held Jan. 13-15 on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
The dual season will begin with a Jan. 21 home contest against Montana State, and then the Zags venture to Ann Arbor, Mich., to participate in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. They'll open the weekend by playing Michigan - who reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season - on Jan. 27 and finish it against either Brown or Tulsa a day later. Tulsa also reached the NCAAs and ended the year ranked No. 44 by the ITA.
After Kick-Off Weekend, the Zags have two more tough matchups waiting in Tempe, Ariz., where they'll face UNLV and Arizona State Feb. 3 and 4. They'll then jet home for four matches against regional foes in Idaho on Feb. 9, Seattle U and Montana on Feb. 16, and Eastern Washington Feb. 18.
Gonzaga begins the month of March in Lawrence, Kan., for matches against NCAA Tournament participants Wichita State and Kansas March 3 and 4, and the Bulldogs end the non-conference season in Southern California against Harvard March 14 and Fresno State March 17.
WCC play begins as the Zags host BYU and San Diego March 23-24, and they make the first of two trips to the Bay Area for matches at San Francisco and Santa Clara March 30-31. On April 6, Gonzaga hosts reigning conference champion Pepperdine, and Loyola Marymount will visit The Stevens Center one day later. The Bulldogs then make their final road trip on April 14 and 15 for contests at Saint Mary's and Pacific, and they'll round out the regular season April 21 by hosting Portland.
Should the Zags finish among the top six of the conference standings, they'll take part in the WCC Championship April 26-28, once again held in Claremont, Calif. Gonzaga has been the tournament's No. 2 seed in each of the last two years.
Gonzaga returns all eight players from last year's squad, including All-WCC First Team honorees Apollo, Whittle, and Graciela Rosas. Joining the squad is Ashleigh Jacobs, a freshman from Calgary, Alberta.
2017-18 Gonzaga women's tennis schedule highlights:
05/21/2018 - WTEN’s Pluskota Named Regional Assistant Coach of the Year
05/02/2018 - Whittle Leads Women’s Tennis All-Academic Honorees
05/01/2018 - WTEN’s Apollo Named to WCC All-Tournament Team
04/27/2018 - Women’s Falls 4-3 in WCC Semifinals to LMU
04/26/2018 - Women’s Tennis Heads to WCC Championships
04/25/2018 - WTEN’s Whittle Leads Five Zags on All-WCC
04/24/2018 - Women’s Tennis Signs Medvedcova to NLI