NEW YORK - A pair of first-year players in Dragos Ignat and
Eric Rubin will represent the Columbia men's tennis team this weekend at the
USTA Clay Court Invitational at Disney hosted by Florida State. Play begins
Friday, Nov. 2 and continues through Sunday, Nov. 4.
Ignat has had a great start to his Columbia career, playing
to a 9-2 record in singles action this fall. The Bacao, Romania native took
down Matt Spindler from Princeton to win his draw at the USTA BJK Men's College
Invitational and then reached the finals of the Columbia Classic.
Ignat's first round opponent in the Gold Draw will be Panav
Jha from Kentucky. Jha entered the season ranked No. 64 in the ITA national
preseason poll, but has gone only 1-4 this fall competing at the Duke Fab 4
Invite and Ohio Valley Regional Championship.
Rubin has been equally successful during his first few
months as a Lion, earning a 5-1 record. Rubin reached the finals of the Jadwin
Draw at the Farnsworth/Princeton Invitational before injury forced him to
withdraw. The Long Beach, N.Y. native also won a pair of matches at the
Georgia Tech's Nathan Rakitt will be across the net from
Rubin in their Garnet Draw opening round match. Rakitt enters the tournament
carrying a 6-2 singles mark this fall.
Ignat and Rubin will also play together as a doubles pair in
the Gold Draw. As a doubles duo, Ignat and Rubin have a 2-1 record after
winning a pair of matches at the Northeast Regional before falling in the round
of 16. FSU's Jordan Kelly-Houston and Anderson Reed will be their opening round
challengers. Similarly, Kelly-Houston/Reed have a 2-1 mark after playing as a
team at the Southeast Regional.
Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. will
serve as the tournament's home site, with Florida State hosting the event. Fans
can find information regarding all of the draws HERE.