KNOXVILLE — Johnson University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams are scheduled to play the University of Pikeville at the indoor Goodfriend Tennis Complex, on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Feb. 10. The time for the match has not been set.
Because of construction on the JUTN campus, resulting in a lack of courts, the Royals are playing at alternative locations as close to campus as possible.
JUTN’s tennis coach said the opener will be an indicator of how the team is progressing.
“In addition to the venue, the first match always brings the excitement and hope of a new season,” Seth Hale, the Royals’ tennis coach, said.
He said the team members have put in time and effort in practice and he is excited to see how they perform under pressure.
JUTN and the University of Pikeville, in Kentucky, are statistically well-matched teams. Pikeville plays in the NAIA conference, while JUTN plays in the NCCAA conference.
“The UPike match will serve as a good field test to how our players react to playing on a bigger stage with home fans, and against a really quality opponent,” Hale said.
Even though the JUTN tennis program is fairly new, launching in 2013, the Royals’ coach is encouraged by the team’s development.
“I feel like our program has been improving every year,” says Hale. “We have a very talented and exciting group of players this season, and I am excited to get it underway.”
Hale said he hopes the close proximity of the match will draw Royals’ fans.