PRINCETON, N.J. – The 47th-ranked Columbia men’s tennis team found itself down 3-1 Sunday at Princeton, but a trio of three-set victories by Lions gave Columbia a triumphant 4-3 win.
The Lions (15-7) and Tigers (16-6) both finish the season with 5-2 Ivy League records and will end the year tied for second in the conference, as Harvard secured first place with a win over Yale Sunday.
Winston Lin and Bert Vancura gave the Lions an early edge in doubles, taking down Matt Spindler and Dan Davies, 8-5, in the No. 2 doubles match. Unfortunately, the Tigers would win the final two matches, including a 9-8 tiebreak win in the No. 3 match to clinch the point.
In singles competition, the seventh-ranked Matija Pecotic increased the Tigers’ lead to 2-0 with a win in the top singles match after Lin retired. Columbia’s first point came from Nathaniel Gery. The senior notched an impressive 6-4, 6-4 victory in the No. 5 match over Matt Siow to close the gap to 2-1. Jonathan Carcione came right back though for Princeton, winning the No. 6 match by an identical score to push the Princeton lead back to two.
That’s where the scoring would stop for Princeton, as the remainder of the matches went to Columbia. Dragos Ignat, Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur each dropped the opening sets of their respective matches, but battled back to win in three sets.
Schnur recorded Columbia’s second point, downing Dan Richardson in the No. 4 match. After falling in the first set, 6-3, Schnur put up back-to-back 6-4 scores to earn the victory. Ignat suffered a 6-4 loss in the opening set of the No. 2 match against Spindler, but rebounded with set scores of 6-3 and 6-4 to even the team score at 3-3.
The team contest then rested on the outcome of the No. 3 match with Columbia’s Narayana and Princeton’s Zach McCourt engaged in a tightly played bout. McCourt picked up the first set, 7-5, but Narayana responded with a 7-6 win in the second. In the third set, Narayana took care of business before extra points would be necessary, defeating McCourt, 6-3, to clinch the 4-3 win for the Lions.
Columbia will now turn its attention to the NCAA Championships selection show scheduled for April 30 at 5 p.m. The show, which will be aired on NCAA.com will announce the 64-team field for the 2013 NCAA Championships. Last season, the Lions earned the program’s second-ever at-large bid to the tournament following an 18-4 season.
Columbia 4, Princeton 3
1) No. 85 Pecotic/McCourt (P) def. No. 69 Narayana/Schnur (C) – 9-7
2) Lin/Vancura (C) def. Spindler/Davies (P) – 8-5
3) Siow/Bloom (P) def. Ignat/Rubin (C) – 9-8
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1) No. 7 Matija Pecotic (P) def. No. 67 Winston Lin (C) – 3-0, Ret.
2) Dragos Ignat (C) def. Matt Spindler (P) – 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
3) Ashok Narayana (C) def. Zack McCourt (P) – 5-7, 7-6, 6-3
4) Max Schnur (C) def. Dan Richardson (P) – 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
5) Nathaniel Gery (C) def. Matt Siow (P) – 6-4, 6-4
6) Jonathan Carcione (P) def. Bert Vancura (C) – 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 6, 4, 2, 3