NEW YORK – A week after winning a pair of matches to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championship, the Columbia men’s tennis team welcomes Vanderbilt to the Dick Savitt Tennis Center on Saturday in a 1 p.m. dual on the Ivy League Network.
The Lions (3-0) enter the weekend as the No. 16 ranked team in the USTA College Tennis Top-25, and No. 17 in the ITA poll. Vanderbilt (4-1) lost for the first time this spring in the second match of the ITA Kick-Off against No. 1 Wake Forest, a day after defeating Portland, 4-0.
Columbia dropped the doubles point during the first day of the ITA Kick-Off against Ole Miss, but fought back to pick up four singles wins during a 4-1 triumph. The following day against Texas Tech, the doubles results came through on the positive side, and three singles victories helped the Lions to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championship with a 4-1 victory over the Red Raiders.
The singles and doubles results have been impressive since the turn of the calendar for the Lions, who hold a 28-10 record in singles play, and a 10-5 mark in doubles action. Victor Pham has been up to the challenge as the top singles and doubles player, hold a 5-1 spring mark and a No. 19 ranking in singles. Alongside Jackie Tang, the No. 38 ranked singles player, the two have posted a 4-2 record, including a win against the No. 33 ranked Curry/Kapshuk pair from Texas Tech.
While Tang holds a 4-1 record in singles play in the No. 2 spot, depth throughout the lineup has been key. Ranked No. 122 in the ITA, Timothy Wang has rattled off five straight wins as the No. 6 singles player, with all of those victories coming in straight sets. Also impressing this spring is Jack Lin, who is 6-0 as the No. 3 singles player, and Austen Huang, who is 3-1 at No. 5 singles.
With the National Indoor Championship taking place in Seattle from Feb. 16-18, Columbia now has two chances to tune up before the tournament, with the match against Vanderbilt on Saturday, and a re-match with Ole Miss next Sunday.
The Commodores come to New York with a ranked singles player and a ranked doubles team in addition. Daniel Valent is the No. 50 ranked player in the ITA, as the senior has gone 4-3 in the top singles spot this spring. Cameron Klinger is 4-0 at the No. 2 singles spot, and alongside Billy Rowe, the two knocked off the top doubles team from Wake Forest, Christian Seraphim and Skander Mansouri.