Sports | Tennis

Men’s tennis hosts top Ivy foes Harvard, Dartmouth

  • Youjin Jenny Jang / Senior Staff Photographer
    Max-imal effort | Columbia head coach Bid Goswami said doubles play could be critical this weekend. The Light Blue’s top doubles tandem of juniors Max Schnur (pictured) and Ashok Narayana is ranked No. 12, but they could have a tough time against Dartmouth’s top duo, ranked No. 20, and Harvard’s go-to tandem, ranked No. 11.

The No. 19 men’s tennis team will return to the comfort of its home courts at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center this weekend, looking to continue its 12-match winning streak against No. 34 Harvard and No. 41 Dartmouth.

Although neither the Crimson nor the Big Green has played an official Ivy League match this spring, they both played the Lions earlier in the year at the ECAC Championships. Columbia edged Dartmouth, 4-3, in the semifinals—even though the Big Green was playing the tournament on its home courts—before sweeping the Crimson, 4-0, in the finals.

“The Dartmouth match was tight, and against Harvard, the three matches that weren’t finished were all really close,” head coach Bid Goswami said. “So winning the doubles point proved critical there, and hopefully, we can do the same here.”

Goswami said the team is excited to be back at home after a nearly month on the road, and the players are ready to go.

“It’s always easier for us to play at home. Every indoor court is a bit different, and I think that home court is always at least a one point advantage at the end of the day,” he said.

The Light Blue will host Harvard on Saturday. The Crimson has the second highest national ranking in the Ivies after Columbia. Goswami said each Crimson player, top to bottom, presents a threat, but he thinks his players are good enough that if they play their best tennis, the Lions will come away with a victory.

“They are a loaded team, so it should be a pretty good match one way or the other,” he said. “I think they could beat us, but they’d have to play really well.”

Like the Lions, Dartmouth—which boasts the third highest national ranking in the Ancient Eight—has been on the road for the last month, and has also had a strong spring. But Goswami noted that he thinks Columbia is in even better shape than when it took to the court against the Big Green and the Crimson in February.

“If they play well, they’re good enough to win,” he said of the Lions. “Since September, these boys have really worked hard. Because of that, they are confident. They aren’t cocky, but they’re confident.”

The match against Harvard is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Lions will take on Dartmouth at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

kyle.perrotti@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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