NEW YORK - After winning the past four Ivy League championships, the Columbia men's tennis team has no plans on slowing down.
The Lions ended their 2017 spring season at the NCAA Tournament, and aim to do the same in 2018, with the sixth best recruiting class in the country coming to Morningside Heights.
"We are very excited about our incoming class," said Bid Goswami, Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach of Men's Tennis. "TennisRecruiting.net, who ranks all recruiting classes, ranked us number six in the nation, highest in the Ivy League. This is the highest recruiting class we have ever had."
"Austin Huang and Jack Lin are blue chip recruits from US and Canada, Jason Lui is a 5 star recruit, and Rian Pandole is ranked in the top 5 juniors in India," Goswami continued. "We only lose Shawn Hadavi from the singles lineup from last year’s team. There is a lot of anticipation and excitement for the program. We will still need a lot of hard work to fulfil our lofty goals, but there is a great mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors and we hope they will push each other to be the best they can be."
The top incoming class in the country went to Cal, followed by No. 2 Florida, No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Illinois, No. 5 Arizona State, and Columbia at No. 6. Virginia, last year's NCAA Champion and the team that ended Columbia's run in the tournament, boasts the ninth-ranked class by TennisRecruiting.net. The Ivy League was well-represented in this year's recruiting class, with Dartmouth holding the 11th ranked crop of newcomers, Princeton coming in at No. 14, and Penn ranked No. 24.
COLUMBIA MEN'S TENNIS CLASS OF 2021
Austen Huang | 5-11 | 138 | Elk Grove, Calif. | Jesuit HS of Sacramento/Laurel Springs
A former top-ranked player by the USTA in the Boys 16 and 18 category ... Finished his career as the No. 9 ranked player in the high school class of 2017 on TennisRecruiting.net, and a blue chip prospect ... The USTA National Scholar Athlete Award recipient ... Honored with the Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 Pro Circuit Men’s Future tournament in Little Rock ... Received his high school’s team MVP award during his freshman campaign ... A classically trained pianist ... The son of Mary and Shanli Huang ... Will attend Columbia College.
Jason Lui | 5-10 | 155 | Bellevue, Wash. | Newport
A five star recruit by TennisRecruiting.net ... The second rated player out of the state of Washington in his class, and the third rated athlete from the Northwest region ... Advanced to the quarterfinals at the Kalamazoo National Hard Court Tournament ... Earned a bronze ball at the Winter National Championship ... The son of See and John Lui ... Sister, Michelle Lui, is an all-conference tennis player at Seattle University ... Will attend Columbia College.
Jack Lin | 5-10 | 155 | Markham, Ont. | Bill Crothers Secondary
A former tennis player at the Canada National Training Center ... Won a Junior Canadian National Championship, as well as 10 Junior ITF Doubles titles ... Ranked as high as No. 47 in the ITF Juniors World Rankings ... Played on the Canadian Davis Cup team ... Currently ranked on both the ATP singles and doubles rankings ... The son of Sally Yi ... Plans on studying biology at Columbia College.
Rian Pandole | | 6-2 | 170 | Mumbai, India | HR College of Commerce & Economics
A top-six player in the U-18 age group among the country of India ... Came in at No. 273 in the ITA Junior Rankings in 2016 ... Won an ITF Junior Grade-4 tournament in 2015, and was runner-up at another Grade-4 ... The son of Anahita and Darius Pandole, who played squash at Harvard ... Brother, Yohan Pandole, is a current member of the Yale squash team ... Will attend Columbia College where he plans on studying economics.