The men’s tennis team expected to perform well last weekend at the Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational. The Lions knew they needed strong performances to solidify themselves as one of the top contenders in the Ivy League, and they did not falter.
Sophomore Dragos Ignat had a very strong tournament in both singles and doubles play. He and junior Bert Vancura were victorious over fellow freshmen Lions Shawn Hadavi and Richard Pham 8-7(4) in the final round of the B flight. Additionally, Ignat won the top singles flight in straight sets over Princeton’s Thomas Colautti 6-3, 6-2. In the top doubles draw final, junior Winston Lin and freshman Miguel Alda outlasted Princeton’s Dan Davies and Zack McCourt by a narrow margin, 8-7(4).
Also claiming the singles D flight, Pham put away Binghamton’s Thomas Caputo, 6-5 (6), 2-6, 6-0, thanks to a solid final set.
The Lions are back on the court next weekend when they head to the Ivy Plus Championships in New Haven, Conn.
The women’s tennis team began defending its Ivy League title this weekend at the three-day Columbia Invitational. The Lions faced Amherst, St. John’s, and Penn on their home court, and finished with a strong showing in their six matches.
The first day of the invitational saw the doubles team of seniors Tiana Takenaga and Ioana Alecsiu defeat their St. John’s counterparts 8-3. The pairing of senior Bianca Sanon and freshman Vivian Cheng then continued the Lions’ success against the Red Storm with an 8-0 sweep. In the team’s singles matchups of the day, the Lions dominated Amherst with 11 wins in 12 matchups.
On Saturday, the Lions continued their level of play against Amherst, winning all three doubles matches before turning their attention to Penn. Columbia won eight of 12 singles matchups against their Ivy League rivals, with the signature win coming from sophomore Kanika Vaidya, who defeated nationally-ranked Sol Eskenazi 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets. On Sunday, Vaidya and Sanon had another statement win over Penn, as the 29th-ranked team defeated Penn’s 36th-ranked duo of Eskenazi and Sonya Latycheva 8-4. The other two Lion doubles teams also came away with wins over the Quakers. The Lions ended the weekend with a sweep of six single matches against Amherst.
As a whole, the invitational was an encouraging start for the team. The Lions performed well against their division rival Penn, showing they could defeat the Quakers’ top players. Cheng and freshmen Tina Jiang both have bright futures, going undefeated in singles play for the weekend.
The Lions will continue their title defense next weekend at the Cissie Leary Invitational in Philadelphia, which starts Friday.