NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season Friday, as the Lions fell to defending Ivy League champions and #50 nationally-ranked Cornell in the first round of the ECAC Team Championships in Hanover, N.H.
Columbia won the doubles point, but couldn’t convert tough three-set matches in singles, dropping the team match to the Big Red, 4-2.
The Lions had two big wins in doubles. In the No.2 spot, Nathaniel Gery and Tizian Bucher teamed up for the first Columbai win of the day, as they downed Sam Fleck and Jason Luu, 8-5. And at No.1 singles, two first-years notched a huge upset: Max Schnur and Ashok Narayana beat the #35 nationally-ranked doubles squad of Venkat Iyer and Alex Sidney in a thriller, 9-8. With the win, Columbia clinched the doubles point, and play stopped in the No.3 doubles spot with the score tied at 6 games all.
Cornell, the No.2 seed in the tournament, had wins at Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 6 to advance to the second round. Senior Rajeev Deb-Sen dropped a 7-6, 6-4 loss to Luu at No.6 singles, while first-year Bert Vancura fell at No.5 to Sidney, 6-3, 6-4. Senior Haig Schneiderman, who holds a national ranking of #52, had a tough battle in the No.1 spot, taking on #98 Iyer, and falling in a third set heartbreaker, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. Junior Gery also had a tough loss in the No.3 spot, as Riggs down him in three as well, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Columbia’s lone win came from first-year Winston Lin, who beat Fleck at No.2, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.
Narayana’s match at No.4 singles was suspended when the team match was clinched, as he led Nguyen, 6-7, 6-4, 4-0, DNF.
Up next for Columbia is recently upset No.3 seed St. John’s. The Red Storm fell in the first day of action to No.6 seed Brown, 4-1, and will play Columbia in a consolation match, Saturday, February 18 at 8 a.m.
#50 Cornell 4, Columbia 2
1. Max Schnur/Narayana (COL) def. #35 Iyer/Sidney, 9-8
2. Gery/Tizian Bucher (COL) def. Fleck/Luu, 8-5
3. Riggs/Nguyen (COR) vs. Vancura/Lin (COL), 6-6, DNF
1. #98 Venkat Iyer (COR) def. #52 Haig Schneiderman (COL), 6-4, 6-7, 7-6
2. Winston Lin (COL) def. Sam Fleck (COR), 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
3. Danny Riggs (COR) def. Nathaniel Gery (COL), 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
4. Ashok Narayana (COL) vs. Quoc-Daniel Nguyen (COR), 6-7, 6-4, 4-0, DNF
5. Alex Sidney (COR) def. Bert Vancura (COL), 6-3, 6-4
6. Jason Luu (COR) def. Rajeev Deb-Sen (COL), 7-6, 6-4