Highlighted by a matchup against ACC foe Clemson, five home contests and a Sun Belt schedule featuring seven opponents, first-year App State men's tennis head coach Craig Schwartz announced the 2019 spring schedule.
The Mountaineers will have a tough schedule as 16 of 23 opponents posted a winning record in 2018 and combined for a .564 winning percentage. Appalachian will face three conference champions and NCAA Tournament participants. For his first season, coach Schwartz is getting the Mountaineers ready for the newly-added schedule.
"I think we have a very competitive schedule that will help prepare us for the conference portion of the schedule," Schwartz stated. "It's an exciting time in the Sun Belt to be playing a conference slate for the first time. We will continue to work hard and strive towards our ultimate goal of a league championship!"
Appalachian's start to the campaign doesn't get easy as its season opener on Jan. 19 is in Johnson City against reigning SoCon Tournament champions and NCAA Tournament program, ETSU. The Mountaineers follow that up with a Jan. 26 matchup against Clemson on the road. App State will play a doubleheader against host, Elon at 9 a.m. on Jan. 28 before facing NC A&T three hours at 12 p.m.
Two weeks later, Appalachian will head to Greenville, N.C. for two contests in as many days facing Richmond on Feb. 9 before ending the weekend on the next day going up against an ECU team that went a solid 22-5 last season. Furman awaits Appalachian 13 days later on Feb. 23 in the first of two matches that weekend as App will face UNCA in Asheville on the following day.
The Mountaineers then start its annual spring break tour three matches in five days, taking on Stetson (March 3), Hampton (March 5), Valparaiso (March 7). Appalachian could play another contest on the 5th and 7th.
Coming back from Florida, App will host Southern Mississippi in its home opener on March 12. App has been a tough out at home, boasting a 9-4 mark at home over the past two seasons. After a matchup with Winthrop on March 16, the Mountaineers will make the trek to Mobile a week later for a showdown against defending Sun Belt Tournament champions, South Alabama. App State's and Troy will meet a day later on March 24.
Three straight home matches round out the month of March with UNCG (3/26), Louisiana (3/29) and UTA (3/31) invading the High Country. App stunned then-No. 2 seed Louisiana in last season's Sun Belt Tournament in a thrilling 4-3 win.
Appalachian will return to action next weekend at the Elon Invitational Sept. 21-23.