With the No. 3 seed in the eight-team draw, the Princeton men's tennis team will open play against sixth-seeded Dartmouth at the ECAC Championship Friday at 8 a.m. to start the three-day event in Ithaca, N.Y.
"Our guys are anxious to hit the courts again and looking forward to the ECACs at Cornell starting Friday," Princeton head coach Billy Pate said. "It will certainly give us a good indicator of where we stand playing three tough matches in three days. With seven of the eight teams being members of the Ivy League, it's also a great preview of the conference this year. Undoubtedly, it's becoming increasingly more balanced and we'll need to be at our best starting with a very challenging opening match with Dartmouth Friday morning."
The Tigers will continue against either second-seeded Columbia or seventh-seeded George Washington Saturday, at 8 a.m. with a loss or 3 p.m. with a win. Sunday's match will put Princeton against one of the four remaining teams in the field, top-seeded Harvard, eighth-seeded Yale, fourth-seeded Cornell or fifth-seeded Brown.
The ITA will not have new team rankings this week, so the Tigers will enter the competition at No. 64 in the nation. The field will include six ranked teams, with Princeton joining No. 42 Columbia, No. 47 Harvard, No. 59 Dartmouth, No. 61 Brown and No. 73 Cornell.
Individually, Princeton counts Matija Pecotic as the No. 3 singles player in the nation on the Feb. 12 rankings, while Pecotic and Zack McCourt were No. 29 on the doubles list. Pecotic was joined among players in the ECAC Championship by Columbia's Winston Lin at No. 60 on the singles list, and by Columbia's Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur (No. 20) and Yale's Daniel Hoffman and Marc Powers (No. 39) on the doubles list.
Princeton will enter the match coming off a win over then-No. 40 Michigan State on Feb. 2 before taking last weekend off from competition. The Tigers are 2-1 overall, and with Dartmouth also ranked, Princeton will have at least three straight matches against ranked opponents and three of its first four overall against ranked foes.
Princeton has competed annually in the event since 1996, except for 2007, winning the event in 2001. The Tigers also opened last year's competition against Dartmouth, taking a 4-2 loss on the Big Green's home courts.