Two Light Blue freshmen made a decent showing last weekend at the inaugural United States Tennis Association Clay Court Invitational. In the first round of the gold singles draw, Columbia’s Dragos Ignat defeated the tournament’s No. 4 seed, Kentucky sophomore Panav Jha, 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-0. But in the round of 16, Ignat lost 6-0, 6-2 to Duke sophomore Jason Tahir. He then retired in the second set of his consolation draw match. Light Blue freshman Eric Rubin fell 6-3, 7-5 to Georgia Tech sophomore Nathan Rakitt in the first round of the garnet singles draw. Rubin recovered from his initial defeat, however, besting both Florida freshman Luke Johnson and Florida State senior Andres Bucaro in two consolation draw matches. As a doubles pair, Ignat and Rubin found less success, losing 9-7 in the first round of the gold doubles draw to Florida State seniors Jordan Kelly-Houston and Anderson Reed. The Lions’ final competition of the fall is the National Indoor Collegiate Championships, which Columbia will host at the National Tennis Center this weekend.
Four seniors reflect on their time at Columbia, and what it means to be leaving these years—and NYC—behind.