It was a weekend of disappointment and heartbreak for the men’s tennis team (16-4, 3-2 Ivy). The No. 37 Light Blue’s 12-game winning streak came to a sudden halt on Saturday afternoon with a 4-3 loss to Yale (13-8, 2-2 Ivy), and the Lions found no consolation on Sunday when they lost 5-2 to No. 64 Brown (16-5, 2-2 Ivy). “After such a high last week beating Dartmouth and Harvard—and to have won 12 matches—the boys are really devastated,” head coach Bid Goswami said. After Columbia won the doubles point to begin Saturday’s contest, the Bulldogs responded strongly and fought to tie the team score at three with one singles match remaining. The day’s results all came down to the No. 3 match between junior Nathaniel Gery and Yale junior Daniel Hoffman. Hoffman took the first set, 6-4, but Gery battled back for a 7-6 win in the second set, and then, using his momentum, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the final set. It appeared that the Lions were going to escape with a win, but suddenly Gery began suffering from intense leg cramps. After losing a game, Gery broke Hoffman’s serve to make it 4-1. But that was the last game the Lions won that day. Unable to stand at times, Gery lost five straight games to Hoffman, sealing the Light Blue’s loss. But the Lions’ disappointment was mixed with frustration because of the way the last set ended. With Gery down 5-4 and serving to stay in the match, the referee gave him two consecutive point penalties for alleged time violations. “I thought the referee really mismanaged,” Goswami said. “If you’re ready to serve it can’t be a point penalty. It was all confusion in the end, but the bottom line is that we lost the match.” With the momentum of the last two months squandered, Columbia fell behind quickly on Sunday against Brown, losing all three doubles matches. Freshmen Winston Lin and Ashok Narayana earned straight-sets wins in the No. 1 and No. 4 singles spots, respectively, but the rest of the Lions suffered losses. “It’s always tougher for us to play outside when we practice indoors,” Goswami said. “We tried our best to get used to the conditions this week at practice, but it’s not the same.” The head coach also emphasized that the absence of freshman Bert Vancura, who was out with pneumonia, hurt the Lions in the bottom of the singles lineup. Columbia will end the season next weekend against Princeton and Penn.
Four seniors reflect on their time at Columbia, and what it means to be leaving these years—and NYC—behind.