NEW YORK – Bid Goswami, The Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach of Men’s Tennis, has announced that Daniel Grunberger, Taiyo Hamanaka and Alex Saltiel will join the men’s tennis program as the Class of 2018.
Daniel Grunberger – Great Neck, N.Y. – Great Neck North HS
Grunberger will make the short journey to Morningside Heights from the Long Island town of Great Neck and Great Neck North High School. A varsity tennis player in eighth and ninth grade, Grunberger competed as the top singles player, earning a 25-3 record.
Although not competing in high school events after ninth grade, Grunberger has been a successful amateur player. Listed as a five-star recruit by TennisRecruiting.net, Grunberger is ranked as the third-best player in New York state, eighth in the Middle Atlantic region and is 39th nationally. Competing as an amateur in 2014, Grunberger posted a 47-19 overall record and 15-5 against other five-star recruits. In the USTA rankings, he was slotted as the No. 1 player in the Eastern region for Boy’s 18’s.
Taiyo Hamanaka – Eastchester, N.Y. – Eastchester HS
Another local product out of Eastchester, New York, Hamanaka joins the Lions after a successful career at Eastchester High School. A four-time captain, Hamanaka was an All-America selection as a senior, a three-time all-state choice and a four-time all-section choice. The Westchester Player of the Year as a senior was a NYSPHSAA State Finalist.
Another five-star recruit, as rated by TennisRecruiting.net, Hamanaka was ranked as the fourth-best player in New York, 10th in the Middle Atlantic region and 61st nationally. In the USTA rankings, Hamanaka was ranked as the No. 4 player in the Eastern region and 89th in the country.
Alex Saltiel – Tierra Verde, Fla. – Shorecrest Preparatory School
Saltiel is Columbia’s lone out-of-state recruit, heading north from the Sunshine State and Shorecrest Preparatory School. Saltiel’s illustrious high school career culminated with a title run to the 2012 Florida singles title. He was a 2011 singles semifinalist, as well as a doubles finalist. In addition to his state accomplishments, Saltiel was a two-time singles and doubles regional champion.
In USTA competition, Saltiel won three state doubles titles, including 2010 when he was a National Open Finalist. He earned the Southeast Zonal Sportsmanship Award in 2008 and 2009, winning the zone singles title in 2009. Also in that year, Saltiel was the Winter Super National Silver Ball Doubles championship.