TOURNAMENT CENTRAL (with live stats and blog links) | ITA Kick-Off Preview
NEW YORK - The No. 44 Columbia men's tennis team will make
its first road trip of the 2013 campaign, heading to the campus of Ole Miss to
compete as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The No. 13 Rebels will also host
No. 41 North Carolina State and No. 36 Louisville for the two-day event that
commences Friday, Jan. 25 at 9 a.m. and runs through Saturday, Jan. 26.
Oxford, Miss. will serve as one of 15 hosts sites for the
fifth annual ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Up for grabs at each of the sites is a spot
at the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship, which will be hosted next
month by the University of Washington.
The Oxford event begins with Louisville taking on NC State
on Friday at 9 a.m., with Ole Miss going up against Columbia a 2 p.m. The
winners of those two matches will meet Saturday at 1 p.m. with the victor
earning right to compete in Seattle next month. A consolation match will be
held Saturday morning at 8 a.m. between the losers of the first two matches.
Columbia opened the season at home Monday, Jan. 21, hosting
No. 58 BYU. Despite the Lions winning the doubles point, the Cougars took four
of the singles matches to earn the 4-3 win at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center.
Ashok Narayana and Dragos Ignat each picked up two wins for Columbia against
BYU. Narayana and Max Schnur, the No. 17 ranked doubles team in the nation, won
the No. 1 doubles match and then Narayana captured the No. 2 match in three
sets. Ignat and doubles partner Eric Rubin won the No. 3 doubles match, 8-0,
before Ignat went on to defeat Keaton Cullimore in the No. 3 singles match.
Scouting Ole Miss
Considered the favorite in this bracket, the Rebels boast a pair of top-35
players in No. 5 Jonas Lutjen and No. 33 Nik Scholtz. Lutjen racked up 14 wins
during the fall season and won the consolation singles title at the ITA
All-American Championship. Scholtz notched eight wins in the fall and won the
USTA/ITA Southern Region singles title.
Friday's match against Columbia will be the first doubles
match of the season for Ole Miss after competing in the National Collegiate
Tennis Classic Jan. 18-20 in Palm Springs, Calif.
The Cardinals began 2013 with three home wins over Nebraska, Morehead State and
Murray State. Most recently, Louisville fell on the road to No. 37
Northwestern, 4-1, on Jan. 20.
Albert Wagner has a 3-0 dual record in the No. 1 spot
through the early stages of the season and is 12-6 dating back to the fall.
Chris Simich has split time in the No. 2 and 3 positions, playing to a 3-1 dual
Scouting NC State
The Wolfpack opened the year with back-to-back 4-3 victories over Penn State
and No. 23 Indiana. Thomas Weigel and Simon Norenius are both 2-0 in duals at
the No. 4 and 6 positions, respectively.