NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team had a battle in the first day of the ECAC Team Championships in New Haven, Conn., as the nationally ranked and second-seeded #38 Brown Bears barely sneaked by the Lions with a 5-2 win. Columbia forced third sets in nearly every singles match, and showed the Bears strong early-season form. 

In doubles, Brown clinched the early point, but not without a fight from the Lions. At No.2 doubles, Ioana Alecsiu and Nicole Bartnik fell 8-3, in what would be the biggest win in the doubles competition. The other two spots were waging war, as both went to a 9-8 tiebreaker. At No.1 singles, the battle when to the Lions, as sophomores Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenage won, 9-8(5). But at No.3, junior Katarina Kovacevic and first-year Crystal Leung got the other end of the spectrum, as they lost 9-8(3). With two matches until their belt, the Bears took the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. 

Singles was an impressive group of matches, with four of the six going to a third set. The only two that did not were split between the two teams. At No.6 singles, Brown’s Julia Flanzer beat Chelsea Davis, 6-4, 6-3, while Alecisu had a win at No.3 singles over Jessica Harrow, 6-4, 6-3. But those would be the only two straight-forward wins. 

At No.1 singles, Bartnik battled back from a first set loss to challenge Misia Krasowksi, but eventually falling, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3. The same went for Leung and Kovacevic, who had big wins in the second set to force a third. Leung fell to Sarah Kandath, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2, while Kovacevic dropper her match to Laura Wileny, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. Sanon was the only Lion to go up early, as she won her first set before dropping two to Cassandra Herzberg, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. 

Up next for the Lions is No.7 seeded Cornell, who are coming off a 5-2 loss to No.3 seed Princeton. The match is slated for Saturday, February 18 at 8 a.m. 

#38 Brown 5, Columbia 2

1. Sanon/Tiana Takenaga (COL) def. Harrow/Herzberg (BROWN) 9-8 (7-5)
2. Caldwell/Krasowski (BROWN) def. Alecsiu/Bartnik (COL) 8-3
3. Kandath/Nikita Uberoi (BROWN) def. Kovacevic/Leung (COL) 9-8 (7-3)

1. Misia Krasowski (BROWN) def. Nicole Bartnik (COL) 6-4, 0-6, 6-3
2. Bianca Sanon (COL) def. Cassandra Herzberg (BROWN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. Ioana Alecsiu (COL) def. Jessica Harrow (BROWN) 6-4, 6-3
4. Sarah Kandath (BROWN) def. Crystal Leung (COL) 6-4, 0-6, 6-2
5. Laura Wiley (BROWN) def. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
6. Julia Flanzer (BROWN) def. Chelsea Davis (COL) 6-4, 6-3