NEW YORK – The Columbia men’s tennis team finished the 2012 regular season on a high note, as the Lions swept Penn in nearly every single match, trouncing the Quakers 7-0. Columbia won in straight sets in nearly every match, and were just a tiebreaker away from a total sweep. With the win, the Lions end the regular season ranked #45 in the nation, 18-4 overall, and 5-2 in the Ivy League.
Columbia got off to a strong start against the Quakers, getting two quick wins at the top of the doubles lineup. Senior Haig Schneiderman and first-year Winston Lin were the first to notch points for Columbia, with an 8-2 defeat of Zach Katz and Jeremy Court in the No.2 spot. First-years Max Schnur and Ashok Narayana clinched the point shortly afterwards, with an 8-1 win in the No.1 spot over Nikola Kocovic and Mark Milbrant. The No.3 doubles match was tied at 6-6 at that point, but with the doubles point firmly in Columbia’s hands, the two teams went to an immediate tiebreaker. There, brothers Cyril Bucher and Tizian Bucher fell in a tiebreaker to Rob Wong and Jason Lin, 7-6(4).
Columbia had similar success in the singles matches, winning in straight sets in all but one match. First-year Ashok Narayana was the first to earn a point for the Lions, as he beat Won in the No.4 spot, 6-4, 6-2. Junior Nathaniel Gery beat Phil Law, 6-1, 6-3 at No.3, and first-year Winston Lin clinched the victory with his 6-4, 6-2 win over Kocovic at No.1. Lin, who went a perfect 7-0 in Ivy League play this year, finishes the season with a 21-1 singles record.
First-year Bert Vancura made it 5-0 Lions with his win at No.5, where he beat Penn’s Jason Lin, 6-4, 6-3, and Tizian Bucher made it 6-0 with his 6-4, 6-2 win over Katz at No.6.
Senior Haig Schneiderman earned the final point for the Lions at No.2, where he rallied from a first set loss to Court to win in a tiebreaker that took place in lieu of a third set. Schneiderman won his final regular season match as a Lion, 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8), giving Columbia the 7-0 sweep.
Columbia’s post-season fate now lies in the hands of others. The Lions are 5-2 in the league, and sit one match back from first place Harvard, at 5-1.
The Crimson have to play travel partner Dartmouth, next Saturday, April 28. If Harvard loses, the three teams (Dartmouth, Harvard and Columbia) would tie for the Ivy League championship title, with 5-2 records.
Columbia would get the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by virtue of its wins over both teams earlier in the season. If Harvard wins, the Crimson clinch the title and the bid outright, and the #45 Lions will hope for an at-large bid to the 64-team tournament.
The NCAA men’s tennis selection show is Tuesday, May 1 at 5:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on www.NCAA.com.
Tennis Match Results
Columbia University vs Penn
Apr 22, 2012 at Philadelphia, Pa.
#45 Columbia University 7, Penn 0
Order of Finish: 2, 1*, 3
1. Winston Lin (COL) def. Nikola Kocovic (PENN) 6-4, 6-2
2. #96 Haig Schneiderman (COL) def. Jeremy Court (PENN) 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8)
3. Nathaniel Gery (COL) def. Phil Law (PENN) 6-1, 6-3
4. Ashok Narayana (COL) def. Rob Wong (PENN) 6-4, 6-2
5. Bert Vancura (COL) def. Jason Lin (PENN) 6-4, 6-3
6. Tizian Bucher (COL) def. Zach Katz (PENN) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4,3,1*,5,6,2
Kentucky / Tulsa