NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont University women’s tennis team’s 2024 spring schedule is now live on BelmontBruins.com. Announced Wednesday morning, the Bruins’ 22-match regular season features 10 home dates and the 2024 Missouri Valley Conference Tennis Championship hosted by Belmont at the Beaman Family Tennis Complex in late April.
In their second year in the league, the Bruins are MVC title contenders after nearly upending 2023 Valley tournament champion Drake last spring in the semifinals of the conference championship. Belmont went 6-2 in its inaugural season in the MVC, going undefeated outdoors and finishing third in the final conference standings.
Head coach Dané Vorster, who is in her second year guiding the Bruins, has put together an impressive non-conference slate for the second consecutive season. Belmont will travel to notable programs Ole Miss (Feb. 3), Mississippi State (Feb. 4) and Florida Gulf Coast (March 6), while hosting UAB (Jan. 14), Gonzaga (Feb. 17) and Troy (Feb. 24).
The Bruins will begin their 2024 campaign on Sunday, Jan. 14 with UAB at the Ensworth Tennis Center before welcoming NAIA member Tennessee Wesleyan to the Ensworth Tennis Center on Friday, Jan. 19. Following Belmont’s pair of home matches to begin the season, the Bruins will embark on a six-match stretch away from the Music City beginning with former Ohio Valley Conference foe Southeast Missouri State on Friday, Jan. 26 in Paducah, Kentucky. Belmont will wrap up its grueling road trip on Sunday, Feb. 11 against Southern Miss in Birmingham, Alabama.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Bruins return to Nashville and the Ensworth Tennis Center to face Gonzaga. The first of three straight at home, Belmont will host Troy on Saturday, Feb. 24 and the Battle of the Boulevard versus nearby rival Lipscomb on Sunday, Feb. 25.
The Bruins travel to Western Kentucky on Saturday, March 2 before their March 6 meeting with FGCU in the Sunshine State.
Belmont will begin outdoor action on campus at the Beaman Family Tennis Complex on Saturday, March 16 when the Bruins start a four-match homestand with Alabama A&M for their regular season non-conference finale. Illinois State, the defending MVC regular season champion, on Saturday, March 23 will serve as Belmont’s Valley opener. The Bruins will also host Bradley (March 24), Missouri State (March 30) and Murray State (April 13) in MVC play at the Beaman Family Tennis Complex.
In Valley play on the road, Belmont will travel to Valparaiso (April 6), UIC (April 7), Drake (April 20) and Northern Iowa (April 21).
The 2024 MVC Tennis Championship will take place in Nashville Friday-Sunday, April 26-28. The tournament will be the first MVC championship hosted by the Bruins on campus and just the second-ever Valley championship hosted by Belmont.
Competing for a bid to the 2024 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship, the Bruins are hopeful to be playing in the national tournament the first week of May. First and second rounds of the NCAA Championship will be hosted at campus sites Friday-Sunday, May 3-5.
Led by the outstanding doubles duo of sophomore Mariia Hlahola and junior Anastasiya Zholdakova, Belmont features a pair of talented freshmen in Vesa Gjinaj and Hana Sokolovic. Hlahola and Zholdakova had a remarkable fall, repeating as the top doubles champions at the MVC Individual Championships and reaching the quarterfinals of the doubles main draw at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Ohio Valley Regional Championships. The pair also became the first Bruins to compete in the ITA All-American Championships.
For the second-straight year, Hlahola won the No. 1 singles title at the MVC Individual Championships in October.