ITHACA, N.Y. - Saturday's semifinal men's tennis match at the 2013 ECAC Indoor Tennis Championship between Columbia and Princeton came down to the final match, an epic comeback that favored the Lions faithful. Down 0-4 in the third set, No. 60 Winston Lin rallied to topple No. 3 Matija Pecotic in thrilling fashion.
After dropping the opening set of the top singles match, Lin blanked Pecotic in the second set to force a decisive third. Pecotic got out to an early lead on Lin, but the Columbia sophomore found his stride and won the next six games to knock off his top-five opponent, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.
To get to that point, the Lions and Tigers traded blows through the early stages of the match. Princeton found itself up 1-0 after doubles action, winning two of the three contests. Dragos Ignat and Eric Rubin notched the Lions only doubles win in the No. 3 match, 8-4 over Augie Bloom and Matt Siow.
Ignat tied the match at 1-1 with a straight-set win in the No. 3 singles match over Bloom. Max Schnur gave Columbia a 2-1 advantage, downing Jonathan Caricone, 6-3, 6-4, in the No. 6 singles match.
Princeton evened the score with a win in the No. 4 match, but Ashok Narayana posted an identical victory to Schnur in the No. 2 match over Zack McCourt to push the Lions' lead to 3-2. Princeton fought back though, winning the No. 5 singles contest to put the onus of the top singles match where Lin came out on top.
Columbia will now take on host Cornell in the finals Sunday afternoon. The Big Red defeated top-seeded Harvard, 4-2, to earn the right to play Columbia tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.
(42) Columbia (3-2) 4,
(64) Princeton (3-2) 3
1. (29) McCourt/Pecotic (P) def. (20) Narayana/Schnur (C), 8-5
2. Dan Davies/Spindler (P) def. Cyril Bucher/Lin (C), 8-6
3. Ignat/Rubin (C) def. Bloom/Matt Siow (P), 8-4
Order of finish: 3,1,2
1. (60) Winston Lin (C) def. (3) Matija Pecotic (P), 3-6, 6-0, 6-4
2. Ashok Narayana (C) def. Zack McCourt (P), 6-3, 6-4
3. Dragos Ignat (C) def. Augie Bloom (P), 6-4, 6-1
4. Matt Spindler (P) def. Eric Rubin (C), 6-2, 6-3
5. Dan Richardson (P) def. Bert Vancura (C), 6-0, 7-5
6. Max Schnur (C) def. Jonathan Carcione (P), 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 3,6,4,5,2,1