Men's tennis will head to the ITA Regional Championships hosted by Penn, starting this Thursday.
Guaranteed a wild-card spot in ITA National Indoor Championships, the Lions are looking to earn an additional spot with a strong showing in Philadelphia.
Head coach Bid Goswami noted that as an individual tournament, the weekend has no implications on his entire squad, even with the possibility that Columbia players could face off in the quarterfinals.
"It is absolutely individual; it's not a team thing," Goswami said. "But we would like to do well against other teams."
Senior Richard Pham and sophomore Will Matheson will compete in the singles qualifying draw, needing to win two matches to join six of their teammates in the 128-man main draw.
Only one of those participants will get a spot in the national indoors next month, with senior Shawn Hadavi headlining the Columbia contingent. He enters as the number one seed overall in the tournament with a bye in the first round.
Joining Hadavi in the main draw are sophomores Victor Pham and Timothy Wang along with first-years Adam Ambrozy, Alex Keyser, and Jackie Tang.
The Lions will also be experimenting with new doubles pairings ahead of the spring season: the Pham brothers will play together, while Hadavi will partner with Tang, and senior Miguel Alda will team with junior Michal Rolski.
"This is the only opportunity that we get before the team events which start in January," Goswami said. "So, there is not too much time to see different combinations."
Goswami added that he’s optimistic heading into the weekend, pointing to the squad’s success in the tournament in the last few years.
"In the last two, three years we've done phenomenally, so I hope we can continue that success," Goswami said. "But I'm not taking anything for granted."
The Lions will begin play with the qualifying rounds on Thursday at 8 a.m.