Navy women’s tennis head coach Keith Puryear announced his team’s full spring dual schedule on Thursday, unveiling a 28-match slate that includes 15 home contests and seven first-time opponents.
“The coaching staff is looking forward to the challenges to be presented by the 2023 spring season.” said Puryear. “This year will be one of the most challenging in regard to scheduling, but we have an excellent nucleus on this team, with a good mix of returners and incoming freshmen. Losing a trio of four-year starters to graduation in Kacey Moore, Katreina Corpuz and Meghana Komarraju means that we will be looking to the returners to play much different roles than some had played previously, while also using the example set by our departing seniors to provide the guidance and support for the freshman class.”
The Midshipmen open their 15th spring campaign under Puryear and associate head coach Alessandra Pedergnana. Puryear’s squad tallied a 22-6 record last spring, posting a 4-1 mark in Patriot League action and picking up at least one win in the league tournament for the 12th-consecutive season. Navy is headlined by 2022 PL Rookie of the Year Emily Tannenbaum, as the sophomore is one of nine returners for the Mids alongside 2021 all-league honoree and senior captain Jillian Taggart.
The first half of the 2022-23 season saw the Mids compete in seven fall tournaments, earning three championship pairings in doubles flights and three singles flight winners, while Tannenbaum took home Tournament MVP honors at the San Diego Veterans Tennis Classic.
Navy will start the dual slate with the program’s first-ever trip to the state of Alabama. The Mids’ spring opener is set for Jan. 14 at Samford followed by a Jan. 15 match at Alabama, as the opening weekend will serve as the first meeting in both series. The Crimson Tide landed at No. 40 last season in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association team rankings after earning an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The Mids then return home to the Brigade Sports Complex for four-straight weekends, as Navy opens its home schedule on Jan. 20 with a Friday matinee against regional rival Georgetown followed by a doubleheader with Saint Francis (Pa.) and St. Bonaventure the following morning. A Jan. 29 twinbill with Morgan State and Villanova closes out the month of January, while February begins with a doubleheader against Towson and Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 4. The nine-match home stretch concludes on Feb. 12 when George Mason and George Washington come to Annapolis.
Navy makes the first of two spring trips to Florida on Feb. 17, visiting a University of Tampa program that was ranked sixth in Division II’s South Region at the end of last season, before turning around to face rival service academy Air Force on Feb. 18 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando. This will mark the first all-time meeting between Navy and Tampa, as well as the first edition in women’s tennis between the Mids and Falcons.
A familiar foe from the fall tournament season, Navy heads to Liberty for a dual match on Feb. 25, traveling home the next day to host Howard and Richmond. The Mids then close out the homestand on March 4, welcoming Fairleigh Dickinson and Delaware to the Brigade Sports Complex.
Navy returns to Florida in mid-March for four more matches, playing UConn and defending MAAC champion Quinnipiac on March 13 before facing the doubleheader combination of South Dakota and Niagara on March 14. The six total matches in the Sunshine State is set to be the most for a single season in program history, while the meetings with UConn, South Dakota and Niagara will be the first time facing those programs in dual action.
Patriot League play begins on March 25 at Lehigh, continuing with a match at Bucknell the next day, March 26. Navy stays on the road the following weekend, heading to West Point, N.Y. to face Army on April 1 in the annual Star Match.
A non-conference contest with Long Island on April 8 is slated to be Senior Day for Taggart and fellow senior Casey Accola, while the Mids make the short trek to Baltimore for an April 12 league match against Loyola Maryland before closing out the regular season at home on April 15 against Boston University.
Hosted by Army, the 2023 Patriot League Championship is set for Friday, April 28 through Sunday, April 30 in West Point, N.Y. Navy will look to make the league championship match for the eighth time in program history and capture the program’s first tournament title.
Times and dates are subject to change.