After last spring’s strong campaign, which ended in a 15-7 record and saw four Lions reach all-Ivy status (all of whom are returning this fall), the men’s tennis team will look to hit the court running and showcase its offseason improvement when they head to New Jersey this weekend for the Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational.
Along with competing against Princeton, Columbia will take on fellow Ancient Eight foes Cornell, Penn, and Yale, as well as Binghamton, Bucknell, Buffalo, Fairleigh Dickinson, Georgetown, Monmouth, NYIT, St. John’s, and Temple.
If the Light Blue can manage to perform even nearly as well as it did at last year’s invite, it will be able to call this outing a success. In the 2012 tournament, Columbia’s men won four of the singles flights, and the number one singles player, junior Winston Lin, took second place in the top singles flight, losing to Princeton’s Matija Pecotic, who graduated last year.
There are many players to watch for, but the key performers to really keep an eye on in the singles flights are last year’s Ivy League rookie of the year, sophomore Dragos Ignat, and Lin, who won that same honor for the 2011-2012 season. Additionally, on the doubles side of things, juniors Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur may be forces to be reckoned with after coming into their own last spring.
If the Lions can come out on top in this tournament, it will solidify their position as one of the top competitors for the 2013-2014 Ivy League crown.
The action begins Friday and concludes Sunday in Princeton, N.J.