Hella Tennis Balls

The Lions hit at least this many balls this weekend

Bwog’s sports editor Ross Chapman brings us another weekend sports wrap-up. Volleyball is apparently rocking it this season, and the field hockey team is capable of crushing you under “an unforgiving stick.” Exciting!

This weekend marked the beginning of the season for Men’s and Women’s Tennis, who went off to tournaments hosted by Princeton and Mizzou, respectively. Headlining the performances was Winston Lin, who carried his national #8 ranking into the Tiger Draw, the most competitive bracket of the Ivy Plus Tennis Invite. Lin cruised through the tournament and eventually reached the finals against someone with an impossibly tennis-y name, Zack McCourt. The climactic final resulted in Lin taking 6-3 and 6-2 sets over the Princeton number one to claim his first title of the year.

In Women’s action, Columbia went fearlessly against teams from the Big 10 and the SEC, doing battle with Nebraska, Mizzou, and Mississippi State. Victories by our top three doubles teams over Nebraska highlighted day one, and the balanced effort led to five different players racking up three wins on the tournament. Alexandra Solovyev paced the team, going 4-1 between her singles and doubles play. The Lions had a pretty even showing in day two, with the doubles pairs winning three and losing three in total against Mizzou and Mississippi State. In the singles game, the Cornhuskers of Nebraska took the number one and number seven matches, but CU took every match in between, winning four of the five in straight sets.

But oddly enough, almost none of that information could be found on official Columbia resources such as GoColumbiaLions.com or the team Twitter feeds as of 2:30 pm today, when the last of the Men’s events ended. The new Columbia Lions app offered no information about either competition, even as it offers daily updates on other tournaments. These two teams are going to be exciting this year, and we hope that information about them becomes more readily available to the student body on a day-to-day basis. This is not meant at all to suggest some secret conspiracy against the evils of racket sports. It’s just a shortcoming early in the season that will hopefully find a remedy.

Taiyo Hamanaka in the Whitman Draw of the Ivy Plus Invite went to the finals against the impossible-to-Google MJ Every (seriously, try it) and fell in close action, forcing Every to win a tiebreaker to claim the gold medal. Junior Eric Rubin also advanced to the finals of his Pagoda Draw against Cornell’s Christopher Vrabel. In another tight match, each player won a set, and the third went to a tiebreaker, where Rubin pushed through Vrabel to claim a tournament victory. Great Neck, NY native and recruited freshman Daniel Grunberger reached the finals in the Jersey Draw, but had to leave the final match early and forfeit due to an injury. Also finishing on the podium was Richard Pham, who reached the semifinals of his Jadwin Draw by winning a viciously contested match against Cornell player Dylan Brown. In doubles play, the top-ranked duo of Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur cruised to a victory in the Orange Draw, never giving up more than 5 games to the 8 they always scored to secure their wins. In other athletics happening this weekend:

  • Field Hockey (4-2) crushed the Brown Bears under an unforgiving stick in Providence on Saturday. The 4-0 victory handed Brown their first loss of the season and put Columbia in the limelight for upcoming Ivy play.  The Lions stayed in-town to face Providence College today, eating a hard loss before returning home. Next home game: Saturday, September 27th at 12 pm vs. Cornell (Ivy home opener)
  • Volleyball (4-5) rode into Connecticut for a tournament against UConn, Hofstra, and Bryant. After dropping the first two games, the Lions drove past the Bryant Bulldogs in straight sets, with Atlanta Moye-McLaren notching her first double-double of the season. Next home game: Saturday, September 27th at 2 pm vs. Cornell (still wear pink!)
  • In Soccer news, the Men’s team (2-2-0) fell to the Bobcats from Quinnipiac, who were held in check offensively in the first half before finally breaking through to score two in the second. The Women (3-1-3) posted a scoreless tie against Albany and went up today against Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia, playing strong late defense to defeat the Hawks 1-0 and push their undefeated streak to 5 games. Next home games: Wednesday, September 24th at 7 pm vs. Fordham (men) and Friday, September 26th at 7 pm vs. Cornell (women, Ivy opener)

Rolling in all that green via Shutterstock.