BOSTON – The 40th-ranked Columbia men’s tennis team went toe-to-toe with the No. 18 Harvard Crimson at the Beren Tennis Center Saturday afternoon, but came up just one-point short of knocking off its top-20 Ivy League foe, falling 4-3.
In doubles action, the Lions and Crimson split the No. 2 and 3 matches, making the top match the deciding contest. Andy Nguyen and Nicky Hu captured the second doubles match for Harvard, but Winston Lin and Eric Rubin responded with an 8-4 victory in the No. 3 match over Alex Steinroeder and Kelvin Lam.
The top doubles match featured two nationally-ranked pairs in Harvard’s No. 65 Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen against Columbia’s No. 36 Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur. Unfortunately for Columbia, the lower-ranked Crimson duo would secure an 8-5 win with MacMaster serving for the final game.
After Harvard went up 2-0 with a win in the top singles match, Columbia responded with back-to-back wins in the No. 5 and 6 matches. Bert Vancura notched Columbia’s first team point, taking down Lam in a 6-1, 7-6 decision. Nathaniel Gery evened the team score at 2-2, toppling Hu in the No. 5 match with a come-from-behind 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory.
The Crimson bounced back to regain the lead with a straight-set win in the No. 3 match, but Dragos Ignat knotted the match at 3-3 with win in the No. 2 match. Ignat produced two 7-5 set scores to defeat Shaun Chaudhuri.
All eyes then turned to the No. 4 match, where A. Nguyen and Schnur were in a three-set battle. Schnur took the early lead in the match, winning the opening set 6-4, but Nguyen would capture the next two to give Harvard the match.
The Lions will look to bounce back tomorrow when they travel to Hanover, N.H. to take on Dartmouth at 2 p.m.
Harvard 4, Columbia 3
1) No. 65 MacMaster/D. Nguyen def. No. 36 Narayana/Schnur (C) – 8-5
2) A. Nguyen/Hu def. Ignat/Vancura (C) – 8-4
3) Lin/Rubin (C) def. Steinroeder/Lam – 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
1) Denis Nguyen def. No. 52 Winston Lin (C) – 6-1, 6-3
2) Dragos Ignat (C) def. Shaun Chaudhuri – 7-5, 7-5
3) Alex Steinroeder def. Ashok Narayana (C) – 6-2, 6-4
4) Andy Nguyen def. Max Schnur (C) – 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
5) Nathaniel Gery (C) def. Nicky Hu – 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
6) Bert Vancura (C) def. Kelvin lam – 6-1, 7-6
Order of finish: 1, 6, 5, 3, 2, 4