The Southland’s top two women’s teams from last year will open the season at Oklahoma State as reigning regular-season champion Abilene Christian will take on the Cowgirls and Wichita State on Saturday. Sunday brings a rematch of last year’s first round NCAA Tournament match between Central Arkansas and OSU. After going three seasons without a tournament title for the first time since 2003, the men from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi hoisted the trophy for an eighth time in 2019 after edging ACU 4-3 in the Southland Conference title match. The Islanders open their 2020 campaign at Prairie View A&M on Jan. 24. Behind the performances of Freshman of the Year Chunxi Xin and four additional first-team all-conference honorees, the Bears ran through No. 6 McNeese, No. 2 Northwestern State and No. 4 Sam Houston State en route to the program’s first Southland Conference tournament title in 2019 and has its sights set on a repeat with four returning first-teamers. The defending regular-season champion Abilene Christian men’s tennis program hits the courts first for a neutral-site meeting with Tennessee at 5 p.m. Friday in Norman, Okla. The squad will wrap up the opening weekend against Oklahoma at 1 p.m. Saturday. Lamar, who is set to host the 2020 Southland Men’s Tennis Tournament April 24-26, kicks off the year with a pair of matches against Bryant and Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Jan. 17. Jan. 19 marks the opening day for a pair of programs as UIW faces VCU and LSU in Baton Rouge, La., and New Orleans visits cross-town foe Tulane. Nicholls will make its 2020 debut when it hosts Alcorn on Jan. 28. The Wildcats return five out of six from their lineup in the 2019 Southland championship match but will be without last year’s Southland Player of the Year Josh Sheehy. Ranked No. 123 in the final ITA singles rankings, he graduated last spring after sweeping his conference counterparts and representing the league at the NCAA Singles Championship. FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference begins its 57th season of men’s tennis and 38th edition of women’s tennis this week with three programs in action from Friday to Sunday. For the complete Southland Conference men’s tennis schedule, please, visit here. The Conference women’s tennis schedule can be found here. New Orleans opens the season against Prairie View A&M on Jan. 21, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi embarks on its 2020 campaign against the Panthers as well on Jan. 24. Nicholls begins the year at Louisiana Tech on Jan. 25, and UIW’s opening day won’t come until Feb. 1 at Texas State. Southland Conference men’s tennis began in 1964, while women’s tennis competition started in 1983. McNeese and Stephen F. Austin open the year on the road at Baylor and North Texas, respectively, on Jan. 17. The following day marks the beginning of the season for Northwestern State (at LSU), Lamar (at Rice) and Sam Houston State (vs. Prairie View A&M).