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No. 11 Columbia Opens Home Slate Saturday vs. No. 73 St. John’s
Thursday, 02/19/2015
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NEW YORK – The No. 11 Columbia men’s tennis team returns for the ITA Men’s National Indoor Championships last weekend to the friendly confines of the Dick Savitt Tennis Center for its home opener versus No. 73 St. John’s Saturday, Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

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LOWDOWN ON THE NO. 11 LIONS (3-2)
No. 11 Columbia holds a 3-2 record in dual matches this season. The Lions three wins have come over top-20 opponents.

Winston Lin, Columbia’s top singles player and the 13th-ranked singles player in the country, has been consistent, compiling a 2-2 record in matches that have reached a decision. Ashok Narayana has buoyed Columbia at the fourth spot with a 3-1 mark, while Dragos Ignat and Max Schnur have held down the second and third spots, respectively with 2-3 records each. Mike Vermeer has been strong in the fifth and sixth court, posting a 1-0 ledger in both positions. 

The Lions have captured the doubles point in back-to-back outings with Vermeer and Lin’s 3-0 mark at No. 2 leading the way. Bert Vancura and Ignat boast a 2-1 record as the No. 3 pair.


SCOUTING NO. 73 ST. JOHN’S (4-3)
The Red Storm holds a 4-3 record in matches this season with a 0-1 record on the road. St. John’s swept Monmouth, 4-0, but fell to Dartmouth, 4-3, in the ECAC Tournament.

Lucas Hejhal has played predominately at No. 1 for St. John’s in both singles and doubles as the junior pairs up with Vaidik Munshaw on the doubles court. The tandem of Hejhal and Munshaw rank 39th in the ITA.

WE MEET AGAIN
The Lions and Red Storm will renew their New York City rivalry after taking two years off. In the last meeting, March 2012, Columbia claimed the last victory, 6-2.

IN THE RANKINGS
After their performance at ITA Division I Men’s National Team Indoor Championships, the Lions posted the program’s highest ITA Ranking at No. 11 in the latest ITA Rankings.

As of Feb. 10, Columbia singles players, Winston Lin ranks 13th in the ITA followed by Dragos Ignat at 76th. In doubles, Max Schnur and Ashok Narayana rank 12th in the country while Mike Vermeer and Richard Pham sit 26th.

DATE
Jan. 6
Jan. 20
Jan. 28
Feb. 3
Feb. 17
Rank
16
16
13
15
11

RELATED LINK: ITA RANKINGS

REWRITING HISTORY
Just about a month into the season, the Lions have already rewrote the programs history books. Here are a few highlights of what Columbia has already accomplished in 2014-15:

·       Won ITA Kick-Off Weekend for the first time since appearing in the event seven years ago.

·       Earned the first bid to ITA National Team Indoors for the first time in 20 years.

·       Defeated the highest ranked opponent in then-No. 14 Notre Dame, 4-3, in the ITA Kick-Off Championship Jan. 25.

·       Upstaged its defeat of then 14th-ranked Fighting Irish, with a 4-3 victory over then-No. 12 Cal in the back draw of ITA National Team Indoors Feb. 14.

·       Earned the program’s highest ITA Ranking at No. 11.

LAST TIME OUT
After a weekend full of stiff competition, the then-No. 15 Columbia men’s tennis team could not build momentum off the doubles point as the Lions’ singles slipped to then-No. 9 Texas, 4-1, at the ITA Men’s National Team Indoor Championship back draw Sunday afternoon.

MORE READING: No 15 Men’s Tennis Singles Slips to No. 9 Texas at ITA Men’s National Indoors

UP NEXT
The Lions will continue their homestand Friday, Feb. 27 with a contest against SUNY Binghamton at 4 p.m.