NEW YORK - Over the next few weeks, GoColumbiaLions.com will take a look at the teams, student-athletes, coaches and staff members set to be inducted in the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame this October. Our next installment features one of the most dominant women’s tennis players in program history, Milena Kachar ’07CC.
Milena Kachar ’07CC
Kachar’s prolific career in Morningside Heights was highlighted by four selections to All-Ivy League teams, including three straight first team nods. She remains the only Columbia player to be named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, earning that accolade in 2004 after going 5-2 against the Ancient Eight with a 13-5 overall record.
The Boca Raton, Florida, native quickly made a name for herself in the Ivy League. She began competition in the Fall of 2003, going 4-3 in singles, but picked up a tournament win in doubles at the Eastern Fall Championships with Kara Worsley. In the spring, she the top spots of the Columbia lineup, playing at the No. 1 or two position throughout the season. She put together an 8-5 record at the top spot, while going an unbeaten, 5-0, when competing at No. 2 to lead the Lions with a combined 13 wins. Paired with Dasha Leonyuk in doubles action, she accumulated another eight victories.
A team-high 11 singles victories followed in her sophomore campaign, including 4-3 in the Ivy League. Kachar garnered her second straight All-Ivy League first team selection for her efforts. The Fall of 2004 featured a win over top-40 player Megan Muth from William & Mary, leading to a Flight A win at the Cissie Leary Invitational. Her tournament success continued with a round of 16 appearance in the ITA Regionals and a victory at the Cornell Winter Invitational.
The level of competition rose for Kachar in her junior campaign, but she proved up to the challenge. Despite an overall record of 9-9, she went 6-1 against the Ancient Eight to pick up her third straight All-Ivy League first team selection. In the fall, she won the Cissie Leary Invitational and was invited to the ITA Nationals in California.
Kachar’s senior season began with two victories at the Columbia Invitational and another appearance in the finals of the Cissie Leary Invitational at Penn. Her spring campaign pitted her against some of the best talent from around the country, managing four victories, while earning honorable mention status on the All-Ivy League team. The highlight of the spring season came when Kachar’s nail-biting three-set victory over Dartmouth’s Megan Zebroski gave Columbia a 4-3 triumph over the 53rd-ranked Big Green.
During her career, Columbia won 33 matches, eight in the Ivy League.