CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Columbia men's tennis team earned a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament today in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The win for the No. 23 Lions gives the squad an 18-4 record, while No. 41 Purdue finishes the season 20-13. Columbia takes on No. 2 ranked Virginia tomorrow at 1 p.m. with the winner in that match advancing to Athens, Georgia for the Sweet 16. The Caviliers were victorious in the other first round match today at Charlottesville against Monmouth, 4-0.
A doubles point victory helped the Lions jump out to a 1-0 lead. Christopher Grant and Michal Rolski were the first to finish with a 6-1 win over Benjamin Ugarte and Renan Hanayama in the third doubles match. No. 65 Victor Pham and Richard Pham were the other winning doubles team, taking the top match, 6-4, against Ricky Medinilla and Stephan Koenigsfest.
Only two of the six singles matches were claimed in straight sets, starting with Timothy Wang at No. 6. Columbia led 2-0 after Wang posted a 6-2, 6-0 win over Hanayama.
In the top singles match, No. 101 Hadavi trailed No. 97 Gergely Madarasz, who claimed the first set 6-1. The Columbia senior battled back, taking the second set, 3-6, before Madarasz gave Purdue its first point by taking the third set, 6-2.
With four singles matches remaining, Adam Ambrozy and Alex Keyser both went to second set tiebreakers, with Ambrozy leading by a set over Athlell Bennett and Keyser trailing by one to Koenigsfest. Both Lions were unable to win their tiebreakers, as Purdue tied the match 2-2 with a victory at the No. 4 match, while Ambrozy went to a third set.
Shortly after Purdue tied the match, No. 57 Victor Pham came away with the second singles match, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, over Ricky Medinilla, as the Lions went up 3-2.
Despite the Lions lead, the Boilermakers seemed to be in control in the remaining two singles matches. Jackie Tang trailed 5-4 in the third set and was facing match point, while Ambrozy trailed 2-0 in the third set to Bennett. Tang was able to come through, stopping Urgarte's run and then breaking his serve to take a 6-5 lead. The rookie served his way to a Columbia win, earning the 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory as the Lions prevailed, 4-2.