Menís Tennis Set to Open 2012 Season at Larsen Bowker Invitational in Virginia
NEW YORK – The Columbia men's tennis team is gearing up to start the 2012 season, as the Lions will open the year in Blacksburg, Va., at the 2012 Larsen Bowker Invitational. There, Columbia will take on Virginia Tech, Davidson and Middle Tennessee in a tournament-style weekend.
Right Up There in the Rankings
Three members of the Columbia men's team have made an appearance on the national rankings list. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) January 3 rankings ranked senior co-captain Haig Schneiderman No.40 in the nation, while junior Nathaniel Gery and first-year Winston Lin earned a No.46 national ranking in doubles.
Schneiderman earned the ranking with huge singles play at the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, as he beat then No.42 Alexis Kelgou from Texas A&M in the first round, and advanced to face off against then-No.5 Chase Buchanan of Ohio State. Schneiderman pulled off what many deemed the biggest upset of the tournament, as the senior beat Buchanan, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Gery and Lin earned the ranking with stellar play at the same tournament, as the duo beat a pair from San Diego in the consolation draw. Complete singles rankings are listed here, while the doubles rankings are listed here.
Upperclassmen Up to the Challenge
Columbia has nine upperclassmen returning to the lineup this year, including two seniors in co-captains Haig Schneiderman and Rajeev Deb-Sen. Both integral parts of the 2009 Ivy League Championship team, Schneiderman and Deb-Sen will lead a strong group of athletes that includes Gery, John Yetimoglu, Cyril Bucher, his brother, Tizian Bucher and Ian Laster, who is returning from a year on the sidelines due to illness. Marc Lemann and Sam Gelb will also offer experience for the Lions.
Fresh New Faces
Added to the nine upperclassmen are six first-years, who made up one of the top recruiting classes in the nation by tennisrecruting.net. First-year Winston Lin led the way for the young players in the fall, as he won the B singles draw at the 2011 National Tennis Center Invitational in September. Classmates Eric Jacobs, Theodore Marin, Ashok Narayana, Max Schnur and Bert Vancura join Lin in hoping to make 2012 a year to remember for Columbia men’s tennis.
Big Year for Bid
The Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach of Men’s Tennis Bid Goswami is entering his 30th season as the head coach at Columbia. And not only is the longest-tenured coach at Columbia, he is also the most successful, with multiple Ivy League team championship titles on his resume. The Lions will be chasing Goswami’s ninth Ivy League title this spring.
Larsen Bowker Lowdown
Though four teams are competing in this weekend's matches, there will be no team scores coming out of Blacksburg.
The format will place players into three singles flights and two doubles flights. Flight A singles will be each teams' No.1 and 2 seeds. In Flight B will be the No. 3 and 4 seeds, and Flight C will have No. 5-8 seeds. There will be no team scoring in the event, and winners in each flight will be determined by a point system.
Friday, the Lions will take to the court at 4 p.m., Saturday, they open play at 10 a.m., and they will conclude play on Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m.
Looking Ahead at 2012
The Columbia men's tennis team has a solid schedule set for 2012, as the Lions will open the dual match season with four straight home matches. The first of the year will take place Saturday, January 28, as Columbia hosts local rival Fordham at 2 p.m.
Throughout the year, the Lions will also play host to Cleveland State, George Washington, Marist, DDU, South Florida and St. John’s, along with Ivy League opponents Dartmouth, Harvard and Princeton.
The Lions will have four Ivy League matches on the road this year, at Cornell, Yale, Brown and Penn. Columbia will have only one non-league road trip on the East Coast, playing at Army on February 25. And in March, Columbia will swing through the Lone Star State, playing three Texas teams and one California team. The Lions will be at TCU, at SMU, and then take on Texas-Arlington and Sacramento State in Arlington, all in the course of a week.