PHILADELPHIA Last weekend, the men’s tennis team experienced something they hadn’t yet this year: an Ivy League loss. Columbia beat Penn 4-2, to claim a share of the Ivy League title, and force a playoff. The two teams will face off Sunday, April 29 in the Dick Savitt Tennis Center in New York, N.Y. The match will determine which team receives the NCAA bid which is awarded to the Ivy League champion. It is slated to begin at 2 p.m.
It is the second time in as many years that Penn will take part in a playoff match. Last year, the Quakers shared the title with Brown, and lost the playoff match 4-3, giving the Bears the bid. This year, the Quakers will have to overcome their first Ivy loss of the season, taking on the one team that beat them, in an attempt to make it to the tournament.
The Lion’s win over Penn on Sunday snapped the Red and Blue’s six match win streak. Columbia’s momentum began early in the match, as they dominated the Quakers in doubles. Justin Fox and Brandon O'Gara were the first to fall, as they lost 8-2 in the No. 3 spot to Mark Clemente and Jonathan Wong. Juniors Jason Pinsky and Eric Riley were next, as they lost to Marty Moore and Paul Ratchford, 8-4 in the No. 1 spot. Columbia had already won the doubles point, but made it a clean sweep, as Jared Drucker and Justin Chow beat Jonathan Boym and Mikhail Bekker in the No. 2 spot, 8-6.
With the doubles point under their belt, and a large group of Columbia fans cheering them on, the Lions continued to find success in singles. Bekker, at No. 3, was the first to lose, as Wong beat him 6-3, 6-1. Next was Justin Fox, who lost at No. 5 to Paul Ratchford, 6-4, 6-0. Just five seconds later, the Lions clinched the win, as Chow beat freshman Alex Vasin at No. 6, 6-1, 6-2. Despite the fact that the match was over, the Quakers didn’t give up. Pinsky won his match at No. 1, beating Clemente 6-2, 6-3, and Boym beat Drucker at No. 2, 6-4, 6-2. Junior Joseph Lok, who was taking on Marty Moore at No. 4, did not get to finish his match as both coaches agreed to suspend play, with the score standing at 6-7, 3-2.
With the loss, the Quakers finished the regular season at 12-12 overall, and 6-1 in the Ivy League. Columbia improved to 15-4 overall, and 6-1 in the league.
The co-champions will face off on Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m., to determine who will represent the Ancient Eight at NCAAs this May.