INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The Columbia men’s tennis team wrapped up the fall season this weekend, as four Lions played in the prestigious ITA Fall National Championship in Indian Wells, California.
Although the Lions were without a Wildcard entry since Columbia did not host this year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center as they have recently, Columbia still managed to qualify a pair of doubles teams and two individuals into the tournament, as one of just four programs to have two or more participants.
Tang got his tournament under way against the No. 11 seeded Michael Geerts from Arizona State. The Columbia sophomore took the first set 6-1, before Geerts came back to take the second, 6-3. Tang went on to dominate the third set, topping ASU’s senior, 6-3. In the second round, the Hong Kong native’s tournament came to a close against No. 47 Guy Iradukunda from Florida State, via a 6-4, 6-3 loss.
Pham got off to a strong start against No. 97 Sameer Kumar from Stanford, but had to fight in order to win a first round match. Down a set in the second to Pham and facing a 5-2 deficit, Kumar picked up the momentum and took the second set, 7-5. Pham proved to be too much in the third, winning the set 6-1. The triumph set up a match with No. 5 Alfredo Perez from Florida, who defeated Tang during the ITA All-American, and went on to edge Pham, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
The top two singles players for the Lions teamed up in doubles to pick up another win over the weekend, when Pham and Tang topped Mitch Harper and Henrik Korsgaard from Virginia Tech, 6-1, 6-4. In the second round, the Columbia pair took the first set against Petros Chrysochos and Skander Mansouri from Wake Forest, but the Demon Deacon pair bounced back to take the match in a tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-3, 10-6.
In other doubles action, Jack Lin and William Matheson, who qualified after topping Pham and Tang in the championship match of the ITA Northeast Regional, were paired with David Felix and Peter Thrac from Idaho State. After winning the first set, the two Lions ended up falling to the Bengals, 3-6, 6-4, 10-6. In the consolation bracket, Lin and Matheson also fell to the Wake Forest pair of Seraphim and Ziobinsky, 6-3, 6-4.