NEW YORK – Play at the 2017 ECAC Men’s Tennis Championship will get under way Friday for No. 19 Columbia, as the Lions hope to best a field of mostly Ivy League competition at Princeton.
The 4/5 match on Friday kicks off the action, as Penn and Dartmouth are set for 9 a.m., before the top-seeded Lions battle the No. 8 seed, St. John’s at noon. The bottom half of the bracket will see No. 2 Cornell and No. 7 Yale play at 3 p.m., before a 6 p.m. match between No. 3 Princeton and No. 6 Harvard.
Semifinal matches will be played on Saturday, with the Lions taking on the winner of Penn/Dartmouth at noon if they were to get by St. John’s. The Championship match is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
This year marks the first time Columbia has played in the ECAC Championship since hoisting the title in 2014, as the Lions took home the ITA Kick-Off Championship the past two seasons, advancing the team to the ITA Team Indoor Championship during this same weekend.
During the 2014 run, Columbia topped Princeton (4-2), Dartmouth (4-3) and Harvard (4-0) en route to the title. Richard Pham is the only returner that played in that tournament, as the senior went 2-1 in doubles play during those three matches.
Pham represents two of the three ranked doubles pairs that Columbia could play this weekend, as the senior is ranked No. 14 with his brother, Victor Pham, and No. 58 with classmate Shawn Hadavi. Along with Jackie Tang, Hadavi holds a No. 30 ranking in doubles play.
Other ranked doubles teams that are scheduled to play this weekend include the No. 20 ranked Alex Day/Luke Gamble from Princeton, and Dartmouth’s No. 54 ranked pair of Max Fliegner and Roko Glasnovic.
The Lions boast the most ranked singles players in the field with three, including Hadavi (No. 39),(No. 87) and Tang (No. 100). Five of the seven remaining schools do have a ranked singles player, including Penn’s Kyle Mautner (No. 61), Princeton’s Payton Holden (No. 101), Harvard’s Brian Yeung (No. 104), Cornell’s Chris Vrabel (No. 114) and Robert Livi from St. John’s (No. 120).
|Last Match||Last time at ECACs|
|3-2||W, 4-3 vs. #24 TCU||1st (2014), 3-0|
|#2 Cornell||6-0||W, 4-1 vs. St. John's||2nd (2016), 2-1|
|#3 Princeton||2-3||W, 6-1 vs. VCU||1st (2016), 3-0|
|#4 Penn||1-3||L, 6-1 vs. Rice||4th (2016), 1-2|
|#5 Dartmouth||2-4||L, 4-3 vs. Iowa||5th (2016), 2-1|
|#6 Harvard||5-3||W, 7-0 vs. Boise St.||3rd (2016), 2-1|
|4-1||W, 4-2 vs. Furman||NP (2016), 0-2|
#8 St. John's
|4-4||L, 6-1 vs. Cornell||6th (2016), 2-2|