WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's tennis team and fourth-year head coach Karen Piazza have officially released the schedule for the ensuing 2019 season, it was announced Wednesday. The Blue Jays boast a 14-match schedule and will also play in the Grass Courts Doubles Championships - a marquee doubles tournament hosted by Salve Regina at The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. - for the third consecutive year.
Featured on the Blue Jays' 2019 schedule are eight home matches which this season will be played at local Hall High School as the USJ Tennis Courts will be offline due to construction for brand new tennis courts set to be in place for the 2020 season.
USJ opens the 2019 slate playing four of its first five matches at home. The Blue Jays kickoff the season versus Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) opponent MCLA on Tuesday, September 3 at 4:00 p.m. before hosting Little East Conference's (LEC) UMass Dartmouth Thursday, September 5. Saint Joseph also welcomes LEC and intrastate foe Western Connecticut (Sept. 12) after hosting Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opponent Wentworth (Sept. 10) during the early home stretch.
Sandwiched in between those four matches is the Blue Jays first road match and first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) match at Eastern Nazarene on September 7. Then, following the match with Western Connecticut, USJ will hit the road once again in conference action at 2018 GNAC runner-up Johnson & Wales September 14.
A home match with GNAC and intrastate rival Albertus Magnus is next on the docket (Sept. 18), igniting a stretch of four straight days of competition for the Blue Jays. USJ has won the last 11 straight meetings against the Falcons. The next day (Sept. 19), the Blue Jays travel to CCC member Curry before their marquee Grass Courts Doubles Championships (Sept. 20) in Newport. They conclude the grueling four-day stretch back at home in GNAC action versus Suffolk (Sept. 21.).
Rounding out the schedule, the Blue Jays return to non-conference action at Lesley (Sept. 24) before hosting back-to-back matches with defending GNAC champion Colby-Sawyer (Sept. 28) and Regis (Oct. 5). The match on October 5 versus the Pride is the final home match of the season and will also serve as Senior Day. Saint Joseph then wraps up non-conference play October 7 back in Newport at Salve Regina before its season finale on October 12 at Simmons.
The top-six GNAC teams in the regular-season standings will advance to the 2019 GNAC Tournament, which is set to begin with the first round on Wednesday, October 16, with the #3 and #4 seeds hosting the #5 and #6 seeds in play-in matches. The semifinals will be held on Saturday, October 19 with the final two advancing teams playing in the championship match on Sunday, October 20. Both the semifinals and championship will once again be held at a neutral site at the Winchester Indoor Tennis Center.
The Blue Jays finished seventh in the regular-season standings at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign narrowly missing a berth to the postseason tournament.
Admission to all USJ women's regular-season tennis match in 2019 are free of charge and will be played off campus at Hall High School.