Updated April 22, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
Men’s tennis is on a hot streak. With a pair of wins against Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend, the Lions became the last remaining undefeated team in the Ivy League, securing their sixth straight Ancient Eight crown in the process.
If the team wins its next match against Cornell, it will claim the Ivy League title outright.
Coming off two wins against Princeton and Penn last week, the Lions (16-3, 6-0 Ivy), the Lions made quick work of the Big Green on Saturday in doubles play. Senior Victor Pham and sophomore Rian Pandole defeated Peter Conklin and Casey Ross at second doubles 6-2. The tandem of junior Adam Ambrozy and sophomore Jason Lui cemented the early advantage who captured the win against Dartmouth’s Dan Martin and John Speicher 6-3.
In singles, the Lions continued their dominance on the court. Senior Timothy Wang took the early lead, besting Sid Chari 6-3, 6-2 at fifth singles. Sophomore Austen Huang replicated Wang’s success in a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Speicher.
It was No. 104 Pandole, however, who clinched the win for Columbia. Pandole made easy work of his opponent, Peter Conklin, in the first set 6-1. Conklin found his footing in the second set, but Pandole eventually prevailed in a tiebreaker 7-6 (6), giving the fourth point of the day to Columbia.
No. 125 Ambrozy continued the Lions’ sweep of Dartmouth with a 6-3, 7-5 win at third singles. Meanwhile, No. 32 Pham was the only Columbia player to drop a set in the entire match. Pham took the early lead 6-3 in the first set against No. 60 Charlie Broom. In the second set, however, Pham fell to Broom 4-6; though he eventually took the match in a 6-4 tiebreaker set.
Lin, currently ranked No. 22, had a more strenuous fight to gain Columbia its final point. Lin took on Dan Martin, beating him in a 10-point tiebreaker 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (11) and bringing the final score to 7-0.
At Harvard on Sunday, both the Lions and the Crimson had the same goal in mind: remain the only undefeated team in the Ivy League. In the end, Columbia emerged victorious, triumphing over Harvard 4-1.
On the doubles court, the Lions were unable to take the early edge. Ambrozy and Lui fell in the first match of the day 6-4; though the No. 33 pair of Lin and senior Will Matheson evened the score 1-1 in a 6-2 match. The advantage was decided in the match between Pandole and Pham and No. 58 Logan Weber and Andy Zhou. In the end, Pham and Pandole were unable to replicate Lin and Matheson’s results and dropped the match to their Harvard opponents 7-5.
However, the Lions went on to claim the win over Harvard in singles. Pham quashed his opponent 6-1, 6-1 at first singles, while Wang, remaining undefeated in Ivy play singles, bested Steven Sun 7-5, 6-4.
Huang earned the win for Columbia at sixth singles, defeating Lane Leschly 6-2, 7-5. Pandole took the final win of the match 6-3, 6-4 (3).
Next week, the Lions will take on Cornell, their final competitor of the regular season. This game will mark head coach Bid Goswami’s final Ivy League match. If the Light Blue defeats the Big Red on Saturday, it will claim its sixth consecutive Ivy League title. After blanking Cornell 4-0 last spring, the odds look to be in Columbia’s favor.
The Lions will close out the regular season by hosting Cornell on Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m. at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center.