TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The No. 27 Alabama men’s tennis team travels to the Northeast this weekend to take on No. 74 Princeton and Columbia.
“This weekend’s matches at Princeton and Columbia present a very tough challenge for us,” said head coach Billy Pate. “It will be the first time on the road this season and we’ll be playing in a different atmosphere against two very established programs. It is critically important we stay focused and prepare our team to play our best tennis against both these squads.”
The team’s first stop will be in Princeton, N.J. to take on the Tigers at the Jadwin Gym tennis courts Friday, Feb. 23 at 3 pm (ET), from there Alabama heads to New York, N.Y. to face the Lions at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center Saturday, Feb. 24 at 2 pm (ET).
The Tide, 5-1, is coming off a big win over No. 23 Clemson at home last Saturday, inching out the Tigers, 4-3. Junior Billy Mertz extended his winning streak to 10 matches last weekend, with a perfect 6-0 mark for the 2007 dual match season. Sophomore Dan Buikema clinched his first match of the season for Alabama, defeating his opponent in straight sets, earning his third singles victory of the season.
Alabama leads the series with Princeton 1-0, with their inaugural meeting taking place in 1999. The Tide held off the Tigers to claim a 4-3 victory.
Princeton defeated Army at Army last weekend, 5-2, improving to 2-0 on the season.
The Crimson Tide is 1-1 all-time versus Columbia. The first time these two squads met Columbia won 5.5-2.5 but Alabama retaliated in 2002, defeating the Lions 6-1.
The Lions are 4-0 to start the dual match season, with their last win over Manhattan, 5-2. Columbia will play St. John’s Friday, Feb. 23 before taking on Alabama.
Admission to both events will be free and results for both matches will be posted on www.rolltide.com.