Calvin Mark and the Navy men's tennis team opens the fall portion of their 2012-13 schedule this weekend.
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The 2012-13 season begins this weekend for the Patriot League men and women's tennis teams, as four schools will face competition beginning Friday.
The League is coming off one of its most notable seasons in recent memory, as Bucknell's doubles tandem of Gregg Cohenca and Evan Zimmer became the first student-athletes in League annals to compete in the NCAA Championships as individuals. Cohenca graduated in the spring, while Zimmer returns to the Bison as a senior this year.
Most of the early activity will be on the men's side, with two schools hosting their own events. The Navy men start tuning up to defend their 2012 League title by hosting the Navy Blue Invitational in Annapolis, Md. Two teams that will look to challenge the Mids in the spring, Army and Bucknell, are also opening their fall campaigns Friday. The Black Knights head to the Stony Brook Invitational Friday and Saturday, while the Bison are hosting the Bucknell Quad Friday-Sunday in Lewisburg, Pa.
The fourth men's program to open its fall this weekend is Holy Cross. The Crusaders will compete in the Stonehill Doubles Invitational Saturday morning beginning at 8 a.m.
One women's program is scheduled to open its season this weekend. The Bucknell women are sharing hosting duties with the Bison men at the Bucknell Quad.
After having a dual match rained out this week, the Holy Cross women will officially begin the fall Wednesday when they host Assumption.
Several teams are set to open next weekend. The women's teams from Army, Colgate and Navy are set to compete at the Stony Brook Invitational, while the Raider men will begin 2012-13 at the Brown Invitational. Army is the eight-time defending champion on the women's side, and has a budding rivalry with the Mids as the two have squared off for the championship in each of the last two seasons.
Lafayette will open later in the month. The Leopard men will compete at the Saint Joseph's and Tim Berman Fall Invitationals Sept. 21-23, while the women take part in the Saint Joseph's Invitational Sept. 28-30.
The Lehigh women will take part in competition at West Point, N.Y., the weekend of Sept. 21-23, while the Mountain Hawk men's first matches of the fall are scheduled for Sept. 28-30 at the Penn Invitational in Philadelphia.
Spring schedules are yet to be finalized and will be added to the composite schedule when officially announced by the schools.
The 2013 Patriot League Men's Tennis Championship is set for Friday-Sunday, April 19-21, and will be hosted by Colgate University. The Women's Tennis Championship will be contested one week later, Friday-Sunday, April 26-28, and will be hosted by the U.S. Military Academy. Both champions earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.