NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team scored one of its biggest wins of the season today, as the Lions beat #53 nationally-ranked and defending Ivy League co-champions Dartmouth, 4-2 in New Haven, Conn. The win over the No.5 seed capped a 2-1 weekend for Columbia, improving the team’s record to 5-1 this season.
Dartmouth won the doubles point early on, forcing Columbia to battle back from a deficit right from the start. Sophomores Tiana Takenaga and Bianca Sanon fell in the No.1 doubles spot to Akiko Okuda and Theresa Smith, 8-3, while Katarina Kovacevic and Amy Li dropped their match at No.3, 8-3. Nicole Bartnik and Ioana Alecsiu were up 7-2 in the No.2 spot when play was suspended because the point was clinched.
The Lions were down, 1-0, heading into singles, but a quick win from Bartnik in the No.1 spot evened the team score. Bartnik beat Sarah Leonard, 6-2, 6-1, to make it 1-1. Kovacevic gave the Lions an advantage soon after, as she beat Shelley Carpeni, 6-0, 6-4 in the No.5 spot. The remaining four matches continued to battle on.
Dartmouth made it 2-2 with a win by Okuda in the No.2 spot over Sanon, 6-4, 1-6, 1-0(7), but again, the Lions got an edge, as Takenaga won at No.6, 0-6, 6-3, 1-0(7). First-year Crystal Leung made it 4-2 in Columbia’s favor with a win at No.4, where she beat Rachel Decker-Sadowski, 1-6, 6-4, 1-0(0). Alecsiu’s match at No.3 with Sabrina Stewart was suspended when the match was clinched, 4-6, 3-4, DNF.
Up next for the Lions are two final home matches before they head off for their spring break trip, as the will start by hosting Maryland, Sunday, February 26 at 1 p.m.
No. 7 Columbia University def. No. 5 Dartmouth College: 4-2
1. Okuda/Theresa Smith (DART) def. Sanon/Takenaga (COL), 8-3
2. Bartnik/Alecsiu (COL) vs. Carpeni/Decker-Sadowski (DART), 7-4 (DNF)
3. Reichel/Stewart (DART) def. Kovacevic/Amy Li (COL), 8-3
1. Nicole Bartnik, (COL) def. Sarah Leonard (DART), 6-2, 6-1
2. Akiko Okuda (DART) def. Bianca Sanon, (COL), 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-7)
3. Sabrina Stewart (DART) vs. Ioana Alecsiu (COL), 4-6, 3-4 (DNF)
4. Crystal Leung (COL) def. Rachel Decker-Sadowski (DART), 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-0)
5. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) def. Shelley Carpeni (DART), 6-0, 6-4
6. Tiana Takenaga (COL) def. Jeri Reichel (DART), 0-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7)