Portions and photo courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Ivy League men's tennis title is on the line going into the final full weekend of conference play with Princeton entering its final two matches in the driver's seat.
Ranked 58th in the April 12 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Rankings, the Tigers (12-6 overall, 5-0 Ivy) could close out the season with a perfect League mark and its first Ivy title since the 1987-88 season with wins over Columbia at home on Friday and Cornell, which is 4-0 in Ivy play, in Ithaca, N.Y. on Sunday.
Princeton may control its own destiny but the Big Red (21-4, 4-0) is out to make history of its own with sights on its first-ever Ivy men's tennis title. Standing in Cornell's way is Penn in Philadelphia on Friday, Princeton at home on Sunday and Columbia in New York on Saturday, April 23 in its regular-season finale.
Princeton enters the weekend having won its first five League matches for the first time since 1992, when the eight Ivy schools played in the 10-team Eastern Intercollegiate Tennis Association that included Army and Navy. The Tigers' 12-6 overall record has clinched the team's most wins since 2008, when Princeton finished 13-11, while the five Ivy wins are already the most since 2007, when the Tigers finished 5-2. One League victory this weekend would be Princeton's sixth and set a high for Ivy wins for the program since the EITA slimmed to the eight Ivy League teams in 1999. The Tigers were 7-2 in the last year of the EITA in 1998.
During the spring dual match season, it has been a pair of sophomores leading the Tigers. Matija Pecotic has amassed a 13-4 mark at No. 1 singles and teamed with Matt Siow at No. 1 doubles for a 10-5 record.
Cornell, ranked 50th in the April 12 ITA Rankings, comes into its final three conference matches also on a five-match winning streak, having won all five match by identical 4-3 results. The Big Red has posted a perfect 11-0 mark at the Reis Tennis Center so far this season. Senior Jonathan Jaklitsch is leading the way for the Big Red in dual match play with a 14-5 singles record and a 15-6 doubles record partnering with senior Evan Bernstein.