NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis team fell to the Princeton Tigers Friday in New Jersey, 5-2, behind strong singles performances from junior Nicole Bartnik and sophomore Iani Alecsiu. With the loss, the Lions are now 12-6 overall, 3-3 in the Ivy League.
Princeton got out to an early lead with the doubles point. Katie Goepel and Rachel Saiontz had a win at No.2, where they beat Alecsiu and Bartnik, 8-1. The point was clinched when Monica Chow and Katherine Flanigan beat Crystal Leung and Katarina Kovacevic 8-5 in the No.3 spot. Columbia did get a win, however, as sophomores Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga rallied to take a thrilling 9-8(5) win over Hilary Bartlett and Lindsay Graff in the No.1 spot.
In singles, Columbia proved to be tougher to fell, as the Tigers had to fight for every set, including two three-setters to determine the final score. Kovacevic was the first to fall for the Lions, with a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Chow at No.5. Princeton’s lead increased to 3-0 when first-year Leung fell to Saiontz at No.4, 6-4, 6-2.
Down 3-0, and one point away from a loss, the Lions rallied. Junior Nicole Bartnik had a win at No.1, beating #116 Hilary Bartlett with ease, 6-2, 6-1. That was followed by a win for Alecsiu in the No.3 spot, as she beat Flanigan, 6-2, 7-5. The score was now 3-2 Princeton, and the remaining two matches both went to third sets.
Princeton was able to clinch the win in the No.6 spot, where Takenaga fell to Goepel despite a strong rally, 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-1. And Sanon also put up a good fight in the No.2 spot, but fell to Graff, 0-6, 7-6(6), 5-4(6).
The Lions will look to close out the season by hosting their final Ivy League match of the year, against Penn at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center, Sunday, April 22 at 12 p.m.
#72 Princeton 5, #73 Columbia 2
1. Sanon/Takenaga (C) def. (34) Bartlett/Graff (P), 9-8(5)
2. Goepel/Saiontz (P) def. Alecsiu/Bartnik (C), 8-1
3. Chow/Flanigan (P) def. Leung/Kovacevic (C), 8-5
Order of finish: 2, 3*, 1
1. Nicole Bartnik (C) def. (116) Hilary Bartlett (P), 6-2, 6-1
2. Lindsay Graff (P) def. Bianca Sanon (C), 0-6, 7-6(6), 5-4(6)
3. Iani Alecsiu (C) def. Katherine Flanigan (P), 6-2, 7-5
4. Rachel Saiontz (P) def. Crystal Leung (C), 6-4, 6-2
5. Monica Chow (P) def. Katarina Kovacevic (C), 6-3, 6-1
6. Katie Goepel (P) def. Tiana Takenaga (C), 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-1
Order of finish: 5, 4, 1, 3, 6*, 2