NEW YORK - The No. 44 Columbia men's tennis team will begin its 2013 campaign Monday at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center against the visiting No. 58 BYU Cougars. The season-opener is set for first serve at 11 a.m.
Columbia will look to build on an exceptional fall season that was highlighted by numerous successful individual performances. "We had a great fall," said Bid Goswami, The Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach of Men's Tennis. "Winston Lin came back to where he left off last season and reached the finals of the Princeton Invitational and the ITA Regional Championship losing in both to Princeton's Matija Pecotic, who is ranked second in the nation, in very close matches."
The fall season was also highlighted by impressive doubles results from two Columbia tandems. "Ashok [Narayana] and Max [Schnur] proved to be the best team in the region, reaching the finals of the back draw of the All-American and winning a match at the National Indoors to establish themselves as one of the top teams in the country," commented Goswami. "Our second team of Winston and Bert Vancura are also ranked No. 38 in the country after their good showing at the National Indoors."
Monday's contest against the nationally-ranked Cougars is just the beginning of tough schedule for Columbia. "We have a great schedule starting with a ranked BYU team on Monday the 21st and then we play in the ITA Kick-Off Classic in Mississippi against two more ranked opponents," said Goswami. "We are invited to the Blue-Gray Invitational in Alabama where we will play three ranked teams before heading to Texas for our spring trip to play TCU and SMU who are perennial powerhouses. After that, the Ivy League season starts. Currently, six of eight Ivy League teams are ranked in the top 75 and four of them in the top 50."
Columbia is the second opponent the Cougars will face during their visit to New York City after downing Fordham Saturday, Jan. 19, 6-1. BYU opened the season with a pair of wins on Jan. 12 over Utah State and Weber State at home, and with the win over Fordham is 3-0. Following Monday's battle between ranked foes, the Cougars will head to other side of the nation to compete in their respective ITA Kick-Off Classic in Los Angeles, Calif.
Goswami and his squad have their sights set on being the best team in Ivy League this season. "Our mission always is to win the Ivy League Championship and make the NCAA team event and this year is no different. We have a very good team and barring injuries we hope to achieve these results," said Goswami. "Also, we are now ranked No. 44 in the nation so it is within our reach to close in on top 25."