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Columbia Reaches Program’s Highest ITA Ranking
Thursday, 01/29/2015
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Columbia University Team Page

SKILLMAN, N.J. – Fresh off an ITA Weekend sweep over two top-20 opponents, the Columbia men’s tennis team drew it highest ranking in program history in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Poll at No. 13.
 
The Lions jumped three spots after punching their ticket to the 2015 ITA Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championships for the first time in over two decades after winning the ITA Kick-Off sight that was dubbed by the ITA as “the highest rated and potentially most combative men’s pod” last weekend. Columbia opened the weekend with a 4-3 battle with then-No. 17 Tennessee before edging No. 14 Notre Dame in one of the most competitive collegiate tennis matches.
 
Against the Volunteers, Columbia fell behind 3-1 before Max Schnur and No. 124 Mike Vermeer tallied victories on the third and fifth courts, respectively. With the match tied, it all came down to Dragos Ignat in a back-and-forth affair on the second court. Ignat took the first set, 6-4, and shook off a 5-7 loss in the second, before powering to a decisive 6-2 win in the third to give Columbia not only its first win of the season, but the program’s first victory at an ITA Kick-Off event since it began seven years ago.
 
In the finals versus the Irish, the Lions went the distance as two of three doubles matches went in to tiebreakers and all six singles courts went to third sets. After dropping the doubles point, Columbia went up 2-1 before Bert Vancura fell victim to Billy Pecor, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, in the sixth position. With everything tied at 2-all, the Lions had to once again rally and did so earning third-set triumphs at the third and fourth spots to seal a trip to Illinois in February.
 
Landing at No. 13, Columbia reached the highest ranking for an Ivy League school since Princeton finished the 1980 season in the top-10. Currently, five Ancient Eight schools land on the national list with the Lions leading the way and Harvard coming in second at No. 32.
 
Columbia has two weeks to prepare for its trip to the national championships where the top 16 men’s college teams will converge upon the Windy City Feb. 13-16 at Midtown Athletic Club.


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