NEW YORK – The University of Pennsylvania men’s tennis team (9-10, 1-5 Ivy) gave a highly-touted opponent all it could handle for the second match in a row, but No. 47 Columbia (14-7, 4-2 Ivy) was able to come away with the 4-3 victory on Friday at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center thanks to three three-set victories in singles.
For the first time in Ivy League play, the Quakers jumped out to the 1-0 lead by winning two of the three doubles matches. Zach Katz and Vim De Alwis paired for a quick victory at No. 2, defeating Dragos Ignat and Bert Vancura, 8-2. Though Nikola Kocovic and Austin Kaplan led early on, 5-2, they lost the No. 1 match by a score of 8-6 to even the doubles matches and force the deciding match to come at No. 3. Jeremy Court and Blaine Willenborg also led their match by a 5-2 count, but Columbia’s Winston Lin and Eric Rubin eventually forced the match into a tiebreak. In a taut, back-and-forth affair, the Penn duo won the last two points of the tiebreak to claim the 9-8(8) victory.
Undeterred, Columbia evened the match at 1-1 with a straight set win at No. 4 singles. That proved to be the only match of the day to be decided that quickly, with the remaining five all requiring a third set. The Lions extended their lead to 3-1 with victories at Nos. 1 and 2 before Katz pulled Penn closer with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 win at No. 5. Columbia came back to clinch the match with a victory at No. 3 before De Alwis ended the day with one last Quaker victory, downing Vancura, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.
Penn concludes the regular season on Sunday when the Quakers meet No. 51 Cornell at the Hamlin Tennis Center. Doubles play begins action at 2 p.m.
1) Narayana/Schnur (C) def. Kocovic/Kaplan (P) - 8-6
2) Katz/De Alwis (P) def. Vancura/Ignat (C) – 8-2
3) Court/Willenborg (P) def. Lin/Rubin (C) - 9-8
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
1) Winston Lin (C) def. Nikola Kocovic (P) - 2-6, 6-4, 6-0
2) Dragos Ignat (C) def. Jeremy Court (P) - 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
3) Ashok Narayana (C) def. Ismael Lahlou (P) - 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
4) Max Schnur (C) def. Blaine Willenborg (P) - 6-3, 6-3
5) Zach Katz (P) def. Nate Gery (C) – 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
6) Vim De Alwis (P) def. Bert Vancura (C) – 6-4, 4-6, 7-6