WEST POINT, N.Y. - The 2012 ITA Women's Northeast Regional Championships got underway Friday with the qualifying singles and open doubles draws. Columbia's Ioana Alecsiu made the most of the first day, winning her first two matches, while two doubles teams advanced to the round of 16.
Alecsiu began the day with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Madison Craft from Boston University. In the round of 16, Alecsiu defeated Delaware's Dorothy Safron in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Alecsiu will now advance on to the main draw set to begin tomorrow. Her round of 128 opponent will be Fatya Amiri from St. Bonaventure. Six Columbia student-athletes will be in action in the main draw.
In doubles, two Columbia pairs won two matches Friday to advance on to the round of 16. Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga, the second seed in the draw, won a tightly contested opening round match 9-8(6) over Janet Liu and Suzy Tan from Dartmouth. In the round of 32, Sanon and Takenaga were able to get by Noor Judeh and Lindsay Kayati from Rutgers by a wider margin of 8-4.
Nicole Bartnik and Crystal Leung similarly faced a tough challenge in the opening round, but prevailed 8-6 over Natalie Blosser and Hai-Li Kong from Harvard. Bartnik and Leung then went on to topple Alex Kelleher and Katy Vasilyev, 8-2, to earn a spot on the round of 16.
Columbia's third doubles pair of Lauren Stratman and Kanicka Vaidya won their first round matchup, 8-4, over Anika Novacek and Amy Simidian from Fordham, but fell in a tie break in the next round.
Play continues Saturday in West Point, N.Y.