NEW YORK - Columbia’s men’s tennis team advanced to the finals of the ECAC Indoor Championships after taking down host Dartmouth in a thrilling 4-3 decision on Sunday, Feb. 16.
The doubles competition set the tone for what turned out to be a hard fought match. Winston Lin and Mike Vermeer dropped their No. 2 match, 6-3, but Dragos Ignat and Richard Pham defeated the Dartmouth pair, 6-3, to make it one a piece. No. 10 Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur dropped a hard fought match, 6-3, giving Dartmouth the doubles point and a 1-0 lead.
The battle continued in the singles competition where five out of six matches had tiebreakers and three went to a third set. Vermeer started the Lions come back at the No. 6 spot with a win over Diego Pedraza, 6-5 (6), 6-2, and the first tiebreaker of the afternoon.
Just minutes later Cameron Ghorbani defeated Max Schnur at the No. 4 position, 6-5 (4), 6-1. Bert Vancura followed Vermeer's example shortly after, taking down George Wall 6-3, 6-5(5) in the No. 5 match, tying the match at 2-2.
Narayana brought the Lions into the lead with a three-set victory over Brandon DeBot at the No. 3 positon, but the match was tied again after Ignat dropped a three-set heartbreaker to Chris Kipouras at the No. 2 spot.
After nearly three hours of tennis, Winston Lin was able to bring home the final point to win the match in a thrilling three-set victory. The first two sets between No. 11 Lin and Dovydas Sakinis were tightly contested, with Lin posting a 6-4 win in the opener and then Sakinis taking the second in a tiebreaker. With the match, and a trip to the finals on the line, Lin stepped up with a 6-3 victory to send Columbia to the title match.
The Lions will face Harvard in the finals tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.
No. 40 Columbia 4, No. 63 Dartmouth 3
No. 1 Ghorbani/Tannenbaum (Dartmouth) def. Narayana/Schnur (Columbia) 6-3 – 3:30pm
No. 2 Sakinis/DeBot (Dartmouth) def. Lin/Vermeer (Columbia) 6-3 – 3:16pm
No. 3 Ignat/Pham (Columbia) def. Pedraza/Kipouras (Dartmouth) 6-4 – 3:21pm
No. 1 Winston Lin (Columbia) def. Dovydas Sakinis (Dartmouth) 6-4, 5-6 (7), 6-3 – 5:56pm
No. 2 Chris Kipouras (Dartmouth) def. Dragos Ignat (Columbia) 1-6, 6-5 (5), 6-4 – 5:33pm
No. 3 Ashok Narayana (Columbia) def. Brandon DeBot (Dartmouth) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 – 5:29pm
No. 4 Cameron Ghorbani (Dartmouth) def. Max Schnur (Columbia) 6-5 (4), 6-1 – 5:08pm
No. 5 Bert Vancura (Columbia) def. George Wall (Dartmouth) 6-3, 6-5 (5) – 5:12pm
No. 6 Mike Vermeer (Columbia) def. Diego Pedraza (Dartmouth) 6-5 (6), 6-2 – 5:06pm
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1) Singles (6, 4, 5, 3, 2, 1)