CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – The Columbia men’s tennis team dropped a tough match in the first round of the NCAA tournament, as the Lions fell to #31 Virginia Commonwealth, 4-0. The Rams won the doubles point by a close margin, and that proved to be the difference in the match.
Columbia had the first advantage in the doubles point, as junior Nathaniel Gery and senior Rajeev Deb-Sen had an easy win over VCU’s Jaime Vazquez and Alejandro Argente in the No.3 spot, 8-4. VCU evened the score seconds later, however, as Filip Svensson and Max Wennakoski beat senior Haig Schneiderman and first-year Winston Lin, 8-2 in the No.2 spot.
The doubles point came down to the No.1 spot, where first-years Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur had an early lead over #63 Alexis Heugas and Antone Baroz. The Rams rallied, however, forcing a tiebreaker, where they managed to eke out a 7-4 win, taking the match, 9-8(4), and giving the Rams the early 1-0 lead in the team match.
Singles started with promise, as Columbia had first set wins at No.1,2 and 3. But VCU’s strength at the bottom of the lineup was what did the Lions in. The Rams had their first win at No.4, where Baroz beat Narayana, 7-5, 6-2, to go up 2-0 in the team match. Just minutes later, the Rams were up 3-0, as Argente beat first-year Bert Vancura in the No.5 spot, 6-2, 6-3. VCU was one point away from clinching the win, and got it in the No.6 spot, where Jaime Vasquez beat sophomore Tizian Bucher, 7-6(3), 6-0.
With the team match decided, the remaining matches were suspended. Lin had a lead over #89 Heugas after winning the first set, 7-6(4), Lin was up 3-2 when the match was called. Schneiderman had won the first set at No.2, 7-6(5), and was down 4-2 in the second when play was suspended, and Gery split with Svensson, winning the first set, 6-4, before falling in the second, 6-4.
With the loss, the Lions conclude their season, finishing with an 18-5 overall record.
Tennis Match Results
Columbia University vs Virginia Commonwealth
May 12, 2012 at Charlottesville, Va.
#31 Virginia Commonwealth 4, #42 Columbia University 0
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1*
1. #89 Alexis Heugas (VCU) vs. Winston Lin (COL) 6-7 (4-7), 2-3, unfinished
2. Max Wennakoski (VCU) vs. #107 Haig Schneiderman (COL) 6-7 (5-7), 4-2, unfinished
3. Filip Svensson (VCU) vs. Nathaniel Gery (COL) 4-6, 6-4, unfinished
4. Antone Baroz (VCU) def. Ashok Narayana (COL) 7-5, 6-2
5. Alejandro Argente (VCU) def. Bert Vancura (COL) 6-2, 6-3
6. Jaime Vazquez (VCU) def. Tizian Bucher (COL) 7-6 (7-3), 6-0
Order of Finish: 4, 5, 6*