NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team dropped its third match of the season in a tough battle with Memphis, 5-2 Saturday at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center. The Lions, who are currently ranked #65 in the nation, faced off against Memphis squad with several nationally ranked singles and doubles players. 

The match opened with doubles, which saw sophomores Tiana Takenaga and Bianca Sanon play tough with the #28 doubles duo in the country in the No.1 spot. Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa HIbberd barely beat Columbia’s top squad, edging them out, 8-6. The match in the No.2 doubles spot was even closer, as junior Nicole Bartnik and sophomore Iani Alecsiu rell to Mariya Slupska and Stefanie Mikesz, 8-7 (10-8). In the No.3 spot, the Tigers beat Katarina Kovacevic and Crystal Leung, 8-5. 

Singles saw Sanon and Takenaga both get big wins for the Lions, as Sanon beat a nationally-ranked player. Slupska, who holds the #123 ranking, fell to Sanon at No.2, 7-5, 6-1. And Takenaga had a win at No.6, beating Kelly Gray in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. 
Those would be the only two points the Lions would get, however, as Memphis took wins in the other five singles spots. Collins, ranked #33 in the nation, beat Bartnik at No.1, 6-4, 6-4, while #117 Welcher beat Alecsiu at No.3, 6-1, 6-1. #77 Mikescz beat Leung at No.4, 6-2, 6-2, and Kovacevic fell to Hibberd, 6-2, 6-4 at No.5 

Up next for the Lions is their annual spring break trip, as Columbia will take on Southern Mississippi and Florida International in Florida, Thursday, March 15, and Sunday, March 18. 

Memphis 5, #65 Columbia 2

1. #28 Tiffany Welcher/Alyssa Hibberd (MEM) def. Bianca Sanon/Tiana Takenaga (COL) 8-6
2. Mariya Slupska/Stefanie Mikesz (MEM) def. Nicole Bartnik/Iani Alecsiu (COL) 8-7 (10-8)
3. Kelly Gray/Courtney Collins (MEM) def. Katarina Kovacevic/Crystal Leung (COL) 8-5

1. #33 Courtney Collins (MEM) def. Nicole Bartnik (COL) 6-4, 6-4
2. Bianca Sanon (COL) def. #123 Mariya Slupska (MEM) 7-5, 6-1
3. #117 Tiffany Welcher (MEM) def. Iani Alecsiu (COL) 6-1, 6-1
4. #77 Stefanie Mikesz (MEM) def. Crystal Leung (COL) 6-2, 6-2
5. Alyssa Hibberd (MEM) def. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) 6-2, 6-4
6. Tiana Takenaga (COL) def. Kelly Gray (MEM) 6-3, 6-3