Mustangs Edged By No. 19 Columbia, 4-3

Go smu! Alex Sanders
Go smu!
Alex Sanders
Go smu!

March 18, 2014

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DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs jumped out to a 2-0 lead over No. 19 Columbia, but the Lions were able to answer with four singles victories to defeat the Mustangs, 4-3, at the Bent Tree Country Club on Tuesday afternoon.

SMU (9-8) won the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3. Arturs Kazijevs and Tony Russell teamed up for an 8-0 win at No. 3 doubles over Dragos Ignat and Richard Pham. Nate Lammons and Alex Sanders continued their strong doubles efforts with a solid 8-5 win at No. 2 to seal the first point of the match for the Mustangs. Arkidjas Slobodkins and Mischa Nowicki were able keep the 12th-ranked doubles pair of Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur off the scoreboard in No. 1 doubles.

Mischa Nowicki took the first singles point for SMU, winning at No. 2 over Ignat; 6-3, 6-2. No. 14 Winston Lin won for Columbia (12-1) at No. 1 singles, and the Lions took the next three singles matches at positions 4-6 to clinch the match victory. 

Sanders was able to get a three-set victory at No. 3 singles over Narayana; 4-6, 7-6, 10-6; to collect his team-leading 10th win during the dual match season. Sanders and Lammons are now 7-4 this spring and 17-7 overall in doubles. 

Mustangs head coach Carl Neufeld was proud of the effort his team gave, especially with how they won convincingly in doubles and with the squad's two seniors winning at two of the top three singles spots.

"I'm excited that we played our best doubles of the year," SMU head coach Carl Neufeld said. "We played exceptionally well in doubles. Our seniors are leading the way for us; we just need the rest of the guys to step it up a bit. Columbia is the 19th-ranked team in the nation for a reason, they are very good. It's tough to have not been able to pull it out, but this shows where we can be. We're on the right path and I'm excited about that."

SMU has another tough test coming up, as the Mustangs travel to Waco, Texas, to face fifth-ranked Baylor on Saturday.

"We play top teams so our guys can measure themselves and learn what it takes to compete at that level," Neufeld said. "We look forward to the challenge against Baylor."

For more information and updates regarding SMU men's tennis, be sure to follow @SMUTennisM on Twitter.

Tennis Match Results
Columbia vs SMU
Mar 18, 2014 at Dallas, Texas

#19 Columbia 4, SMU 3

Singles competition
1. #14 Lin, Winston (COLM) def. Arturs Kazijevs (SMU) 6-0, 6-2
2. Mischa Nowicki (SMU) def. Ignat, Dragos (COLM) 6-3, 6-2
3. Alex Sanders (SMU) def. Narayana, Ashok (COLM) 4-6, 7-6, 10-6
4. Schnur, Max (COLM) def. Arkidjas Slobodkins (SMU) 6-4, 6-1
5. Vancura, Bert (COLM) def. Nate Lammons (SMU) 0-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. Vermeer, Mike (COLM) def. Tony Russell (SMU) 6-4, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. Mischa Nowicki/Arkidjas Slobodkins (SMU) vs. #12 Narayana, Ashok/Schnur, Max (COLM) unfinished
2. Alex Sanders/Nate Lammons (SMU) def. Lin, Winston/Vermeer, Mike (COLM) 8-5
3. Arturs Kazijevs/Tony Russell (SMU) def. Ignat, Dragos/Pham, Richard (COLM) 8-1

Match Notes:
Columbia 12-1; National ranking #19
SMU 9-8
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,1,4,6,5,3)