FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. - The #62 Columbia men's tennis team avenged an early season loss to #60 St. John's Friday at the USTA National Tennis Center, as the Lions beat the Red Storm, 5-2. Columbia won the doubles point early on, and first-year Ashok Narayana clinched the win for the Lions with a thrilling three-set win in the No.4 singles spot.
Doubles came down to the last of three matches, as Columbia and St. John's split the first two. The Lions got the first point, as juniors John Yetimoglu and Nathaniel Gery won in the No.2 spot, upsetting the #77 doubles duo of Stefan Bojic and Vasko Mladenov, 8-6. St. John's answered with a win in the No.1 spot, where Milo Hauk and Ilija Vucic beat first-year Max Schnur and Ashok Narayana, 9-8. But Columbia took the point with a win in the No.3 spot, where Winston Lin and Haig Schneiderman beat Mike Lampa and Valentin Mihai, 8-6
Columba continued to roll into singles, as the Lions won each of the first six sets. St. John's would take several seconds to keep the match going, but in the end, the Lions would come out on top. First-year Winston Lin had the first win for Columbia, as he upset #40 nationally-ranked Mladenov in the No.2 spot, 6-3, 7-6. Junior John Yetimoglu made it 3-0 Lions with his win in the No.6 spot, as he beat Mihai 6-4, 7-5.
St. John's came back to win two singles matches and keep it close, however. Vucic beat Gery in the No.3 spot with a late rally, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, while Hauk beat Schneiderman in the No.1 spot, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. First-year Ashok Narayana clinched the win for the Lions in the No.4 spot, staging a fantastic rally. After winning the first set, 6-4, Narayana dropped the second set to Bojic, 1-6, and was down 4-1 in the third. Narayana rallied back to break Bojic twice and tied the third set at 5-5. With the momentum in his favor, Narayana won the third set soon after, 7-5. First-year Bert Vancura scored the final point for Columbia with a win at No. 5, as he beat Najfeld, 7-5, 3-6. 6-1.
With the win, the Lions improve to 13-2 overall heading into the Ivy League season. Up first for Columbia is defending Ivy League champions Cornell, Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m.
#62 Columbia 5, #60 St. John's 2
1. Milo Hauk/Ilija Vucic (STJ) def. Ashok Narayana/Max Schnur (COL) 9-8
2. John Yetimoglu/Nathaniel Gery (COL) def. #77 Stefan Bojic/Vasko Mladenov (STJ) 8-6
3. Winston Lin/Haig Schneiderman (COL) def. Mike Lampa/Valentin Mihai (STJ) 8-6
Order of finish: 2,1,3*
1. Milo Hauk (STJ) def. #64 Haig Schneiderman (COL) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
2. Winston Lin (COL) def. #40 Vasko Mladenov (STJ) 6-3, 7-6
3. Ilija Vucic (STJ) def. Nathaniel Gery (COL) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
4. Ashok Narayana (COL) def. Stefan Bojic (STJ) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
5. Bert Vancura (COL) def. Matty Najfeld (STJ) 7-5, 3-6, 6-1
6. John Yetimoglu (COL) def. Valentin Mihai (STJ) 6-4, 7-5
Order of Finish: 2,6,3,1,4*,5