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
2. Caldwell/Krasowski (BROWN) def. Alecsiu/Bartnik (COL) 8-3
3. Kandath/Nikita Uberoi (BROWN) def. Kovacevic/Leung (COL) 9-8 (7-3)
2. Bianca Sanon
(COL) def. Cassandra Herzberg (BROWN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3