In a battle of the ECAC Championship's only two nationally ranked singles players, Columbia's Winston Lin prevailed over Princeton's Matija Pecotic at the top of the ladder for the first time in four meetings this season.
Lin's three-set win tipped the match for Columbia, which won four singles matches to overcome Princeton's win in the doubles point for a 4-3 victory in an ECAC semifnal match.
Princeton will face 47th-ranked Harvard at 3:30 p.m. Sunday for third place in the Cornell-hosted event.
"We knew this match would have momentum swings and would likely go down to the wire," Princeton head coach Billy Pate said. "I give Columbia credit for stepping up and taking the match in the end. It's a disappointing loss as we had chances to put them away. We did a good job of getting the doubles point after going down breaks on all three courts. We'll learn from this and put it behind us quickly so we're ready for another tough match tomorrow."
The Tigers, ranked 64th nationally, fell to 3-2 on the season with the loss to the 42nd-ranked Lions, Princeton's fourth ranked opponent of the dual-meet season.
Princeton took the doubles point, clinched when Dan Davies and Matt Spindler overcame Cyril Bucher and Lin on court two, 8-6, but Columbia put Princeton on the brink of defeat with three straight singles wins.
Matt Spindler and Dan Richardson provided wins at fourth and fifth singles, respectively, to pull the Tigers even, but Lin rallied from losing the first set 6-3 to Pecotic to blank the Princeton senior in the middle stanza and claim the third frame 6-4. The two had played three times in events this past fall, with Pecotic winning all three.
(42) Columbia (3-2) 4, (64) Princeton (3-2) 3
1. (29) McCourt/Pecotic (P) def. (20) Narayana/Schnur (C), 8-5
2. Dan Davies/Spindler (P) def. Cyril Bucher/Lin (C), 8-6
3. Ignat/Rubin (C) def. Bloom/Matt Siow (P), 8-4
Order of finish: 3,1,2
1. (60) Winston Lin (C) def. (3) Matija Pecotic (P), 3-6, 6-0, 6-4
2. Ashok Narayana (C) def. Zack McCourt (P), 6-3, 6-4
3. Dragos Ignat (C) def. Augie Bloom (P), 6-4, 6-1
4. Matt Spindler (P) def. Eric Rubin (C), 6-2, 6-3
5. Dan Richardson (P) def. Bert Vancura (C), 6-0, 7-5
6. Max Schnur (C) def. Jonathan Carcione (P), 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 3,2,6,4,5,1