The Princeton men's tennis team won its opening match over Dartmouth Friday morning 4-1 to advance in the ECAC Championship hosted by Cornell.
Princeton, the tournament's third seed of eight teams, will face the tournament's second seed, Columbia, at 3 p.m. Saturday.
"For an 8 a.m. match I thought we prepared well and came out ready to play," Princeton coach Billy Pate said. "Dartmouth is a very good team and we knew they would pose a challenge in each spot. As it normally is, the key was getting off to a good start with the doubles. Dan (Richardson) had a good win over a guy he had lost to last year. Zack (McCourt) played well and came through in a tight second set to clinch the fourth point."
Columbia has dominated the series of late with Princeton, as the current Tigers are 1-2 against the Lions, winning in 2011, and Princeton has been without back-to-back wins against Columbia since 2002 and 2003. The 2002 meeting was the last time Princeton defeated Columbia away from the Princeton campus.
"Tomorrow will be another tough challenge with Columbia," Pate said. "They have strong doubles and good balance in each of the their singles positions. We expect a great match and we'll certainly need to be sharp."
Princeton, ranked 64th in the nation on this week's ITA list, picked up its second win over a ranked team in just four matches played this season by defeating the 59th-ranked Big Green.
(64) Princeton (3-1) 4, (59) Dartmouth (3-4) 1
1. (29) McCourt/Pecotic (P) def. Centenari/DeBot (D), 8-6
2. Ghorbani/Brendan Tannenbaum (D) vs. Dan Davies/Spindler (P), 6-5 unfinished
3. Bloom/Matt Siow (P) def. Alex de Chatellus/Sam Todd (D), 8-2
Order of finish: 3,1
1. (3) Matija Pecotic (P) def. Xander Centenari (D), 6-3, 6-3
2. Zack McCourt (P) def. Cameron Ghorbani (D), 6-2, 7-6(3)
3. Chris Kipouras (D) def. Augie Bloom (P), 6-2, 6-2
4. Erik Nordahl (D) vs. Matt Spindler (P), 6-4, 5-3 unfinished
5. Dan Richardson (P) def. Brandon DeBot (D), 6-4, 6-4
6. Jonathan Carcione (P) vs. Justin Chan (D), 6-2, 4-4 unfinished
Order of finish: 3,5,1,2