NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team improved to 10-3 overall and 1-0 in the Ivy League Saturday, with a 5-2 win over rival Cornell at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center. The Lions won the doubles point and three quick singles matches to clinch the team win over the Big Red.
Columbia took an early advantage in the competition for the doubles point as Crystal Leung and Katarina Kovacevic had an 8-6 win in the No.3 doubles spot over Cornell’s Christine Ordway and Courtney Malinchak. Minutes later, junior Nicole Bartnik and sophomore Iani Alecsiu clinched the point in Columbia’s favor, with an 8-5 win over Gabby Sullivan and Ryann Young in the No.2 spot. Sophomores Tiana Takenaga and Bianca Sanon had a strong performance in the No.1 doubles spot, but eventually fell in a tiebreaker to Sarah O’Neil and Laren Frazier, 9-8(4).
The Lions were up, 1-0 heading into singles, and quickly widened that lead. Junior Katarina Kovacevic had a fantastic comeback performance in the No.5 singles spot after winning her first set, 6-1. Down 5-2 in the second set, Kovacevic rallied back to win five straight games and take the win over Frazier, 6-1, 7-5. Sophomore Tiana Takenaga made it 3-0 for the Lions with her win in the No.6 singles spot, where she beat Malinchak, 6-1, 6-3. The Lions needed only one more singles win to clinch the victory, but it wouldn’t come for some time, as the rest of the match-ups were closely fought.
Sophomore Bianca Sanon gave Columbia the win in the No.2 spot, where she beat Ordway, 6-3, 6-4, in a match that was closer than the score reflected. Cornell got on the board for the first time soon after, as Sullivan had a win over first-year Crystal Leung, 6-1, 7-6(1) at No.4. The Big Red would also get a win in the No.3 spot, where Young beat sophomore Iani Alecsiu in super tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (12-10).
Junior Nicole Bartnik ended the match on a high note, however, as she rallied back from a tough first set loss to take the win at No.1 singles over O’Neil. Bartnik pulled it out in the end, 6-7(5), 6-1, 1-0 (10-7).
With the win, the Lions are now 10-3 overall, and 1-0 in the Ivy League. Up next for the Lions is a road trip to the north, as Columbia will face off against Dartmouth, Friday, April 6, and Harvard, Saturday, April 8. First serve for both matches is scheduled for 12 p.m.
Tennis Match Results
Cornell vs Columbia
Mar 31, 2012 at Dick Savitt Tennis Center
Columbia 5, Cornell 2
Order of finish: 3, 2*, 1
1. Nicole Bartnik (COL) def. Sarah O'Neil (COR) 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 1-0 (10-7)
2. Bianca Sanon (COL) def. Christine Ordway (COR) 6-3, 6-4
3. Ryann Young (COR) def. Iani Alecsiu (COL) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (12-10)
4. Gabby Sullivan (COR) def. Crystal Leung (COL) 6-1, 7-6 (7-1)
5. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) def. Laren Frazier (COR) 6-1, 7-5
6. Tiana Takenaga (COL) def. Courtney Malinchak (COR) 6-1, 6-3
Order of finish: 5, 6, 2*, 4, 3, 1
ITA Northeast Regionals