The No. 19 men’s tennis team got its first taste of outdoor play earlier this week in Texas against Southern Methodist University and No. 47 Texas Christian University. The Lions rose to the occasion despite being down early in each match, narrowly defeating both teams, 4-3. Tomorrow, the Lions will have one more match in the Lone Star State prior to coming back up to the Northeast to wrap up their away stretch in Cornell.
Tuesday, just after breaking into the nation’s top 20, the Light Blue found itself down to the unranked Mustangs after dropping the doubles point and an early singles point. But, as has been the case for much of the season, the team’s depth enabled it to prevail, 4-3, with three of the four singles victories coming in straight sets.
On Thursday, the Lions made the short trip to Fort Worth, where they took on the Horned Frogs. TCU on paper is a much tougher team than SMU, and it gave the Light Blue more trouble than the Mustangs did. Like SMU, the Horned Frogs took the doubles point. From there, the two teams battled in a series of closely contested singles matches. The matchup came down to No. 14 junior Winston Lin against No. 53 Nick Chappell in the third set of the top singles match. Lin found himself down early in the set, but rallied to top Chappell, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5, to ice the victory for Columbia.
Tomorrow, the Light Blue will finish up its time in Texas against the University of Texas at Arlington, a team which has generally struggled this winter. The Mavericks’ top threat is the No. 55 duo of Javier Perez and Carlos Arbiza, which will be met by juniors Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur. Narayana and Schnur carry a No. 12 ranking, and knocked off TCU’s No. 13 doubles team of Chappell and Will Stein on Thursday, 8-4. Play begins in Arlington at 11 a.m. EST.