DALLAS – The 61st-ranked Columbia women’s tennis team put up a valiant effort to bounce back from a 3-0 deficit Thursday against Southern Methodist, but came up just short, falling to the Mustangs, 4-3.
SMU went up early on the Lions, winning the doubles point with victories in the No. 1 and 3 matches. Columbia second doubles pairing, Bianca Sanon and Ioana Alecsiu were able to win their match, 8-6, over Hristina DIshkova and Holly Verner.
The Mustangs continued to build their lead, going up 3-0 with wins in the No. 3 and 5 singles contests. The Lions responded though, winning the next two singles matches. Crystal Leung got Columbia on the board with a come-from-behind victory in the No. 4 match. Leung dropped a tight first set, 7-6, but came back to take the next two sets, 6-1, 6-1.
Sanon notched her second win of the day in the No. 2 singles contest and gave the Lions their second point. Sanon jumped out to a one-set lead on Edyta Cieplucha, but the Mustang fought to win the second set, 7-6. Sanon prevailed in the third though, putting away Cieplucha with a 6-4 set.
The Mustangs needing just one win to clinch the team win did so in the top singles match, as Aleksandra Malyarchikova topped Nicole Bartnik in a tight two-set match.
Alecsiu closed out the match with a comeback win in the No. 6 match, but it was too late, as SMU escaped with a 4-3 win.
Columbia will close out its Texas trip with an 11 a.m. match at North Texas.
SMU 4, Columbia 3
4) Crystal Leung (C) def. Elena Fayner (SMU) – 6-7, 6-1, 6-1
5) Hristina Dishkova (SMU) def. Tiana Takenaga (C) – 6-3, 6-4
6) Ioana Alecsiu (C) def. Yana Erkeeva (SMU) – 2-6, 7-6, 7-5
1) Bulgakova/ Malyarchikova def. Bartnik/Leung (C) -8-4
2) Sanon/Alecsiu (C) def. Dishkova/Holly Verner – 8-6
3) Cieplucha/Erkeeva def. Kovacevic/Takenaga (C) – 8-4