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No. 70 Nicole Bartnik leads the Lions into critical Ivy League weekend.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

No. 60 Women’s Tennis Faces Brown and No. 37 Yale in Crucial Ivy League Matches This Weekend

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/10/2013
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NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team will hit the road this weekend for a pair of Ivy League matches at Brown and Yale. The Lions will take on the Bears Saturday, April 13, before facing the Bulldogs on Sunday, April 14, with first serve slated for noon both days.

Columbia sits atop the Ivy League standings following wins over Harvard, 4-3, and Dartmouth, 7-0, last weekend at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center. Added to Columbia’s win at Cornell two weeks ago, the Lions are 3-0, one win ahead of second-place Yale.

The Lions began last weekend in exciting fashion, topping Harvard by a score of 4-3 in a match that lasted over 4 ½ hours. Columbia raced out to a 3-0 lead on the Crimson, only to see their lead evaporate over the next three singles match, leaving Bianca Sanon and Amy He to decide the match in the No. 2 singles contest. Sanon came through for the Lions with a three-set victory to give Columbia its second victory over Harvard in program history.

Saturday’s match against the Big Green lacked the drama of Friday’s match, as the Lions swept Dartmouth, 7-0. Sanon with two wins improved to 6-1 as the Lions No. 2 and 8-3 overall. Sanon also moved into the national rankings this week, garnering the No. 115 slot after winning her last six matches.

Sophomore Crystal Leung and first-year Kanika Vaidya have each reached the 10-win plateau in singles this season, with Leung holding an 11-1 mark, while Vaidya is 10-1 in her first collegiate spring season.

Doubles has been a point of emphasis for Columbia this year, with the Lions carrying a cumulative 24-8 record this spring. The Lions best success has come in the No. 2 slot, with three different pairs combining for a 9-1 mark, while four No. 1 pairs are 8-4. Sanon and Vaidya have combined to go 7-0 at the top spot and are ranked 44th nationally.

Scouting Brown
The Bears sit in the cellar of the Ivy League, following a 0-2 start to the 2013 conference season. Brown began last weekend with a close 4-3 loss at Penn, followed by a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Princeton. At 6-9 overall, the Bears have the worst win percentage (.400) in the conference.

Nikita Uberoi was the lone Bear to win both of her first Ivy League matches. The Boca Raton, Fla. native, earned a straight-set win against Penn’s Sonya Latycheva and then came-from-behind to topple Princeton’s Katie Goepel in three sets in the No. 4 match each day.

Scouting Yale
The Bulldogs, who will host Cornell Saturday before facing Columbia Sunday, are the only other Ivy League team yet to drop a conference match this season, downing Princeton and Penn on the road last week. At 13-2 overall, Yale has the best win percentage in the Ancient Eight.

Elizabeth Epstein and Blair Seideman are each ranked in the latest ITA singles poll for Yale. Epstein comes in at 64th in Tuesday’s rankings, dropping from 46th after losing both of her Ivy League matches. Seideman, ranked No. 100, has yet to compete in Ivy League singles competition.

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