NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team rallied from a deficit to take a thrilling win over Dartmouth Friday, in Hanover, N.H., beating the Big Green, 4-3. The Lions dropped the doubles point, but were able to take four straight singles matches to clinch the win and improve to 11-3 overall, 2-0 in the Ivy League.
Dartmouth swept the doubles matches, in three bouts that were as close as two teams can be. In the No.1 doubles spot, sophomores Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga fell in the tiebreaker to Sarah Leonard and Akiko Okuda, 9-8 (11-9). The No.3 doubles matchup was just as close, as Crystal Leung and Katarina Kovacevic fell to Jeri Reichel and Theresa Smith, 9-8(6). And sophomore Iani Alecisu and junior Nicole Bartnik lost in the No.2 spot to Janet Liu and Rachel Decker-Sadowski, 9-7.
The Big Green had the 1-0 lead heading into the singles matches, so the Lions were fighting back from a deficit to start singles. And fight they did. Dartmouth got a quick win in the No.5 spot, where Theresa Smith beat Kovacevic, 6-1, 6-3, but Columbia answer with four straight singles wins. Bartnik beat Sarah Leonard at No.1, 6-4, 6-4, while Takenaga beat Decker-Sadowski by an identical score at No.6, 6-4, 6-4. With the two wins, the teams were tied up, 2-2. Sanon gave the Lions the edge with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Okuda at No.2 singles, and sophomore Iani Alecsiu clinched the match for Columbia witha win over Melissa Matsuoka in the No.3 singles spot. Matsuoka won the first set, 6-3, but Alecsiu was able to rally back and win two straight sets to clinch the win, and the match for the Lions, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Dartmouth got one more point on the board in the No.4 spot, as Liu beat Leung, 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-1.
Up next for Columbia is a match in Cambridge, Mass., against strong Harvard squad, Saturday, April 7 at 12 p.m.
Columbia 4, Dartmouth 3
1. Nicole Bartnik (COL) def. Sarah Leonard (DART) 6-4, 6-4
2. Bianca Sanon (COL) def. Akiko Okuda (DART) 6-2, 7-5
3. Iani Alecsiu (COL) def. Melissa Matsuoka (DART) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. Janet Liu (DART) def. Crystal Leung (COL) 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1
5. Theresa Smith (DART) def. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) 6-1, 6-3
6. Tiana Takenaga (COL) def. Rachel Decker-Sadowski (DART) 6-4, 6-4