"It's Ivies that count," men's tennis team captain Don Pompan said prior to the season's opening. This is it. No more excuses of pre-season blues or lack of match experience. From here on out it's all Ivy. The pressure to produce began yesterday, and the Crimson proved more than equal to the challenge, defeating Columbia 7-2.
The last time Columbia stepped on the Palmer Dixon courts the match lasted for less than two hours and the final score stook 9-0. Yesterday the match lasted over five hours, and aggresive play by a young squad showed Columbia's come a long way--but not far enough.
The opening match saw Pompan, in the number-two slot, easily dispatch lanky Lion Jeff Papell. After dropping the first seven points, Pompan visibly relaxed and went on to capture the set, 6-3. Good clutch tennis highlighted Pompan's second set as he clinched the match with a 6-2 victory.
Bob Horne, in the number-six slot, saw varsity action for the first time this year. The adjustment in team line-up proved effective as Horne foiled the power serving of Bob Zinna to take the match, 6-3, 6-4.
Long after Pompan and Horne had hit the locker room, Michael Terner and Lion John Termotto continued their grueling see-saw battle. The effective top-spin of Termotto proved crucial as he took the match, 7-5, 7-5.
The match's premier event saw Howard Sands, number-one player, confronting Andy Garfield. Comparable styles of conservative play highlighted the match. Not ones for flashy shots, the players concentrated on smooth polished playing and consistent ball control. Aggresive playing on Sands part, however, made the difference, and he emerged with a 6-4, 6-2 win.
The power hitting of Adam Beren took its toll in the confrontation between the number-three players. Beren clearly dominated court play, shutting out opponent Jim Rubin 6-0 in the opening set. Rubin's counter-punch strategy proved slightly more effective in the second set, yet Beren kept the pressure on to take the set and match, 6-3.
Lacking his usual finesse in the number-four slot. Warren Grossman dropped the opening set to Lion Masao Inouye, 6-1. In the second set Grossman managed to force Inouye into a tie-breaker only to emerge empty-handed.
Leading the match 4-2 at the end of singles competition the Crimson proceeded to sweep the doubles. The experimental combo of Beren and freshman Robbie Wheeler turned in a stellar performance to beat the Columbian number-one team, 6-2, 6-1. The Pompan and Grossman duo defeated their opponents 6-2, 6-2, in the number two slot. Not to be outdone, Sands and Alex Seaver captured the final match, 6-4, 6-5.
NOTEBOOK: Controversy has surrounded the college career of Columbia's number - one player Andy Garfield, Garfield, a junior, is currently in his first year of intercollegiate play due to an NCAA ruling that Garfield's signing a pro-circuit contract two years ago made him ineligible. This year, Garfield appealed and that decision was overruled on the grounds that Garfield never accepted money while playing on the pro-circuit--since he never won any.