Leafs News
Goshen College Announces 2017 Tennis, Cross Country Schedules
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Tennis - Mon, Jun. 26, 2017

GOSHEN, Ind. — The Goshen College men's and women's cross country teams will take their talents to at least a half-dozen meets in 2017 while the men's and women's tennis teams will play their longest conference schedules in more than 20 years, the college announced Monday.

After opening their seasons on Saturday, Aug. 26 at Judson University in Illinois, the men's and women's tennis teams come home for their conference opener three days later against local rival Grace.

The Maple Leafs will travel to Bethel the following Saturday in their shortest road trip of the season before hosting Indiana Wesleyan the day after Labor Day. For the men, the IWU match represents a rematch of the 2015 Crossroads League tournament semifinals and 2016 quarterfinals, while the women will have an early opportunity to dethrone the team that has won or shared 24 of the last 25 conference championships.

After reaching the midpoint of the conference schedule on September 12, closing a stretch of five matches in eight days, the teams will head to the ITA Midwest Regional from September 14-16.

Second-year director of tennis Evan Atkinson will play host to his alma mater, Taylor, for the first time the following Saturday, three days before Goshen's maiden voyage to Mount Vernon Nazarene.

With the Cougars sponsoring tennis for the first time in 2017, the Crossroads League reaches an all-time high of 10 tennis-playing schools. The resulting nine-match schedule is not the longest in league history, however: in 1992 and 1993, the six schools in what was then the Mid-Central College Conference played a 10-match, double-round-robin schedule.

CLICK HERE for the 2017 Goshen College men's tennis schedule.
CLICK HERE for the 2017 Goshen College women's tennis schedule.

Unlike in tennis, where the conference tournament is an honor reserved for the top eight teams in the league, Goshen's men's and women's cross country teams can be sure that their seasons will extend at least as far as the Crossroads League championship on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Northview Church in Carmel.

A comparison of the Maple Leafs' 2016 and 2017 slates reads much like a comparison of cross country courses themselves: while the lengths are the same (six events counting the conference meet) and made up of the same parts (Goshen returns to all six meets it entered a year ago), the variety from one year to the next is still plainly apparent.

Two of the six meets will be run at different sites than 2016 based on an annual rotation: the Indiana Intercollegiate meet on Friday, Sept. 15, moves from Bloomington to West Lafayette, while hosting duties for the conference event shift from Indiana Wesleyan University to Marian University.

Two more meets—the Louisville Sports Commission Cross Country Classic on Saturday, Sept. 30, and the Bethel College Invitational six days later—split their fields into multiple races a season ago, providing the opportunity for the opposition on the course to change even if the same schools enter.

Third-year coach Rustin Nyce welcomes back squads that combined to run 25 career-best times—12 by women and 13 by men—in last season's final three meets. The teams open their seasons on Friday, Sept. 8, at the Indiana Wesleyan University Invitational in Marion, with the national championship meet set for Saturday, Nov. 18 in Vancouver, Washington.

CLICK HERE for the 2017 Goshen College men's cross country schedule.
CLICK HERE for the 2017 Goshen College women's cross country schedule.

The cross country and tennis schedules form part of a fall slate that includes at least 107 events in seven varsity sports over an 81-day span from August 16 to November 5. The schedules for men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball were announced in May.

While there are no dates with all seven teams in action, six teams (all except women's volleyball) play on Saturday, Sept. 30. Five contests are slated for each of the previous three Saturdays as well as Friday, Sept. 15. The two busiest days in terms of home games will come on two Saturdays, September 9 and Sept. 30, when four Maple Leaf teams are in action on campus.