Friday May 8, 2009Miami (Fla.) Tops Columbia, 4-0, to Kick Off Tournament Action
The University of Miami downed Columbia University, 4-0, in first-round NCAA Tournament action on Friday at the University of Florida’s Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.
After dropping one doubles match, Miami rallied to take the doubles point and never looked back. On court two doubles, Columbia’s Jonathan Wong and Haig Schneiderman cruised to an 8-1 win in just 30 minutes.
Court one remained on serve until the sixth game when Columbia double-faulted on break point, jump-starting the Hurricanes to an 8-3 win for Daniel Vallverdu and David Rosenfeld to knot doubles at 1-1. Carl Sundberg and Keith Crowley clinched the point for Miami with an 8-4 win on court three, wrapping up doubles play after 43 minutes.
Rosenfeld scored the first singles point for the Hurricanes when Bogdan Borta was forced to retire after the first set, which Rosenfeld took 6-4 after falling behind 4-0.
Crowley added to Miami’s total, topping Ekin Sezgen 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes, pushing the Lions to the brink. Ignacio Taboada sealed the victory for the Hurricanes 17 minutes later, closing out Rajeev Deb-Sen 6-1, 6-4.
Per NCAA Tournament regulations, play was suspended once the deciding point was won.
Miami will face the winner of Friday’s Florida vs. Marist match in the second round on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Miami head coach Mario Rincon
Opening Statement: “We are definitely very pleased that we got out of the first round. I thought we did a good job of not taking Columbia lightly. They are a very well-coached team. They won their conference [Ivy League] and are very athletic. Our guys are ready to get back out here and play the winner of Marist-Florida tomorrow.”
On the possibility of playing host Florida in Saturday’s NCAA Second Round match: “I know it will be a great challenge for our team. Florida is one of the best teams in the country, but I know we can compete against them. I am hoping we can play one of our best days of tennis tomorrow and get the win.”
On if the heat (91 degrees F at the time of the match’s conclusion), gave Miami an advantage over Columbia: “It was hot today, even for us, and we play in Miami everyday. We had a couple of situations in singles and doubles where our players really felt the heat. We are much better suited for the heat, obviously, than Columbia, but if we happen to play Florida tomorrow, it won’t be a factor in giving either team an advantage because they are used to it as well.”
Columbia head coach Bid Goswami
On the doubles point possibly swinging momentum: “If we can somehow sneak the doubles point, we can stay in it. Mihai (Nichifor) can hit big shots at any time. People will get fired up and it carries into singles, but it wasn’t to be.”
On overall play: “I thought we competed well for what we practiced. I was happy with the way Jon Wong and Haig Schneiderman played at second doubles. I thought first doubles was very winnable, but it wasn’t to be and we could never recover.”
Miami Senior Daniel Vallverdu
On if the heat (91 degrees F at the time of the match’s conclusion), gave Miami an advantage over Columbia: “We’re pretty used to the heat; we get it all year long in Miami. Now we just have to get ready for tomorrow to probably play Florida. They’re a very fit team and I’m sure they’re used to the heat. We need to get back tonight and get some good rest to be ready to go tomorrow.”
On the possibility of playing against Florida’s Carlos Cuerto in Saturday’s NCAA Second Round: “We are friends – we were in Barcelona together and played at the same academy. He is from the same city that my parents live in. This winter, we both went back home to Spain. He’s a good guy and I’m looking forward to the possibility of playing against him tomorrow.”
Miami Freshman Ignacio Taboada
On his season so far both as an individual and on the team: “I’ve been playing pretty well my last several matches. Our team has had its ups and downs this season, but we were second at the ACCs and we have been gaining confidence. We have a lot of positive energy heading into tomorrow’s match.”
Final Score: Miami 4, Columbia 0
No. 1 (38) Vallverdu/Rosenfeld (MIA) def. Borta/Nichifor (COL), 8-3
No. 2 Wong/Schneiderman (COL) def. Simon/Blocker (MIA), 8-1
No. 3 Sundberg/Crowley (MIA) def. Urban/Deb-Sen (COL), 8-4*
No. 1 Vallverdu (MIA) vs. Wong (COL), 6-3, 3-3, DNF
No. 2 Rosenfeld (MIA) def. Borta (COL) 6-4, ret.
No. 3 Nichifor (COL) vs. Sundberg (MIA), 6-2, 5-4, DNF
No. 4 Crowly (MIA) def. Sezgen (COL), 6-3, 6-1
No. 5 Blocker (MIA) vs. Schneiderman (COL), 6-4, 5-2, DNF
No. 6 Taboada (MIA) def. Deb-Sen (COL), 6-1, 6-4*
Order of finish: Doubles – 2, 1, 3 Singles – 2, 4, 6*