Mike McLaughlin / Columbia Athletics
It was Columbia’s 14th Ivy title and its 12th during the 35-year tenure of head coach Bid Goswami. “It’s a good feeling for me, but I can’t imagine how they must be feeling,” Goswami said of his players. “They worked hard from the beginning. They earned this with their hard work.”
“I never expected to win four titles,” said Shawn Hadavi ’17 about his career with Columbia tennis. Hadavi compiled a 14–5 record in singles play as a senior and teamed with Jackie Tang ’20 for a 13–6 mark in doubles. “Every year we developed a winning culture, where we expected to win no matter which guys we lost [to graduation].”
Columbia defeated 11 of 14 non-conference opponents, and its only loss in Ivy competition was to Harvard 4–2 on April 15. But the next day, Harvard bowed to Cornell 4–2, and since the Big Red had lost to Columbia 4–1 on April 1, all three teams went into the final weekend of the season with one league loss. Harvard closed out its season by beating Princeton and Penn while both Columbia and Cornell defeated Brown and Yale on the final weekend, so all three tied for the league crown.
Columbia, ranked 23rd nationally, received an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championships in Charlottesville, Va., where the Lions defeated Purdue 4–2 in their opening match on May 12 before bowing to host Virginia 4–0 the following day. Columbia finished the spring season with an 18–5 record.
The Lions were especially strong in doubles play, compiling a 50–17 record. In addition to the Hadavi-Tang pairing, Christopher Grant ’17 and Michal Rolski ’18 posted a 13–1 record and Richard Pham ’17 and Victor Pham ’19 compiled a 14–7 mark.
In singles play, four Lions surpassed double figures in victories: Timothy Wang ’19 (18–4), Hadavi, Victor Pham (13–7) and Tang (12–4).