NEW YORK - The Columbia men's tennis team has another banner to add to its already impressive collection, as the Lions picked up their fourth consecutive Ivy League Championship with a 5-2 win today over Yale.
Columbia will share the crown at 17-4 overall and 6-1 in Ivy League play with both Cornell, which finished off Brown 4-3, and Harvard, who upended Penn, 4-2. The team ranked highest in Tuesday's ITA rankings will earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
"I had never done three consecutive conference championships, and I thought that was a great accomplishment because we lost four guys and almost everybody was new last year," said the Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach of Men's Tennis Bid Goswami. "This year with everybody back aside from Eric Rubin and Mike Vermeer, who were very important, and with our really good recruiting class, I thought we had a chance to make it happen."
Much like they have all season long, the Lions got out to a fast start with a doubles point victory. Victor Pham and Richard Pham were first with a 6-2 win, before Christopher Grant and Michal Rolski put Columbia ahead 1-0 in a 6-4 triumph.
Timothy Wang made it a 2-0 lead, with his 6-4, 6-1 win in the sixth match. That victory helped the sophomore improve to 17-3 this spring, as he finishes the conference season at 6-0.
The next match went to Adam Ambrozy, who posted a 6-2, 6-4 victory, giving the Lions a 3-0 lead. went on to clinch it, taking down his opponent 6-4, 6-4, and giving the Lions the title.
The 14th Ivy League title in program history, today Columbia become the third program in the conference to win four consecutive Ancient Eight titles in men's tennis. The Lions become the first Columbia program to win four straight conference crowns since the fencing team notched eight Ivy titles in a row from 1986-93.
"So many things can happen, but more than me and Coach Endelman, it's the senior class that's provided great leadership," said Goswami. "The older guys did a great job with the younger class, and with their help, it bodes well for our future."
Doubles (Finish Order: 1-3)
1 – Pham/Pham def. Hagermoser/Andrienko, 6-2
2 – Hadavi/Tang unf. Cheng/King, 5-4
3 – Grant/Rolski def. Lu/Photiades, 6-4
Singles (Finish Order: 6-5-2-)
1 – No. 63 Tyler Lu def. No. 82 Shawn Hadavi, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 1-0(5)
2 – Victor Pham def. Ziqi Wang, 6-4, 6-4
3 – Dylan King def. Jackie Tang, 7-5, 6-4
4 – Alex Keyser def. Stefan Doehler 6-0, 7-6
5 – Adam Ambrozy def. Andrew Heller, 6-2, 6-4
6 – Timothy Wang def. Ryan Cheng, 6-4, 6-1