NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team had a huge win in the Dick Savitt Tennis Center Sunday afternoon, as the Lions dominated Brown to knock off the #48 nationally ranked Bears, 5-2. The loss was Brown’s second in Ivy League play, putting them at 16-6 overall, 2-2 in the Ivy League. It was the first time Columbia has beaten Brown since 2005, and the first-ever win over the Bears under head coach Ilene Weintraub.
The Lions (12-5 overall, 3-2 Ivy League) got off to a strong start, sweeping the doubles point with ease. Sophomores Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga were unstoppable in the No.1 spot, beating Cassandra Herzberg and Jessica Harrow, 8-1. Katarina Kovacevic and Crystal Leung clinched the point in Columbia’s favor in the No.3 spot, where they beat Carissa Aboubakare and Laura Wiley, 8-4. Iani Alecsiu and Nicole Bartnik made it a sweep as they beat Misia Krasowski and Ariel Caldwell, 8-4 at No.2.
Columbia led 1-0 heading into singles, and got two early wins. Sophomore Bianca Sanon was the first to get a point for the Lions, as she beat Harrow, 6-2, 6-2 at No.2. Junior Katarina Kovacevic made it 3-0 with her impressive win in the No.5 spot. Kovacevic was facing off against Nikita Uberoi, who she’d previously lost to in a tournament this fall. That was not to be the case Sunday, however, as Kovacevic won the first set, 6-4. In the second set, Uberoi went up 4-1 on Kovacevic, and it looked like a third set was in the cards. But Kovacevic rallied back to win five straight games, taking the match, 6-4, 6-4, and putting Columbia up 3-0.
The Lions were just one point away from clinching the match, but that wouldn’t happen for some time. In the meantime, Brown notched two points with wins at Nos. 3 and 4. Julie Flanzer defeated Alecsiu at No.3, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, while Laura Wiley beat Leung at No.4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
With the team score at 3-2, the remaining two matches both went to third sets. Junior Nicole Bartnik clinched the team win for the Lions in the No.1 spot, as she beat Krasowski, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. And sophomore Tiana Takenaga hammered it home with an incredibly long three-set win at No.6. After their first set went to tiebreaker, Takenaga and Sarah Kandath had been playing for over an hour. Luckily, Takenaga rallied from that early first set loss to take the match, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, give Columbia its fifth point of the day.
The Lions wrap up their season next weekend with a split weekend. Columbia will head to Princeton, Friday, April 20 for a 2 p.m. match, before returning home to the Dick Savitt Tennis Center, to close out the year in a home match against Penn, Sunday, April 22 at 12 p.m.
Tennis Match Results
Brown vs Columbia
Apr 15, 2012 at Dick Savitt Tennis Center (New York, NY)
Columbia 5, #48 Brown 2
Order of Finish: 1, 3*, 2
1. Nicole Bartnik (COL) def. Misia Krasowski (BRN) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
2. Bianca Sanon (COL) def. Jessica Harrow (BRN) 6-2, 6-2
3. Julie Flanzer (BRN) def. Iani Alecsiu (COL) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
4. Laura Wiley (BRN) def. Crystal Leung (COL) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) def. Nikita Uberoi (BRN) 6-4, 6-4
6. Tiana Takenaga (COL) def. Sarah Kandath (BRN) 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 5, 3, 4, 1*, 6
North Carolina / Oregon