NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s tennis program capped the best season in program history with a big win over Ivy League foe Penn, Sunday, downing the Quakers, 6-1. With the win, the Lions set a program record for wins in a season (13), a program record for Ivy League wins in a season (4), and notched the first winning Ivy League season ever. It was also the widest margin Columbia has ever beaten Penn by and only the fourth time in the history of the program that the Lions beat the Quakers. Columbia ends the year 13-6 overall, and 4-3 in the Ivy League.
The Lions opened the match by taking the doubles point over the Quakers. Junior Nicole Bartnik and sophomore Iani Alecsiu were the first to defeat Penn, as they downed Alex Ion and Srindhi Raghavan in the No.2 doubles spot, 8-3. First-year Crystal Leung and junior Katarina Kovacevic clinched the doubles point in the No.3 spot, as they beat Emma Whitfield and Stephanie Do, 8-5. Penn got a win in the No.1 doubles spot, where Sol Eskenazi and Jules Rodin beat sophomores Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga, 8-6.
Singles saw three Columbia sophomores win matches in quick succession to clinch the victory for the Lions. Bianca Sanon was the first to go, as she beat Do at No.2, 6-1, 6-3, to finish the year 6-1 in Ivy League play. Tiana Takenaga had a win minutes later over Whitfield at No.6, 6-1, 6-2. And nearly simultaneously, Iani Alecsiu beat Ion, 6-3, 6-0 in the No.3 spot to make it 4-0 Lions.
With the match clinched in Columbia’s favor, singles play continued in the Nos.4, 5 and 1 spots. Junior Katarina Kovacevic had a bit win at No.4, beating Daniela DePaoli, 6-3, 6-4, and classmate Nicole Bartnik made it 6-0 Lions with her 6-2, 7-5 defeat of Eskanazi at No.1. Bartnik finishes the season with a perfect 7-0 record in Ivy League play, all at the No.1 spot.
One match remained, and it was a battle. Junior Chelsea Davis was taking on Raghavan, and after a long first set that Davis took, 7-5, Raghavan battled back, winning the second set, 6-2, to force a tiebreaker in lieu of a third set. The tiebreaker was again a back and forth affair, with Raghavan coming out on top, 10-7, to score Penn’s lone point on the day.
The match was the final regular season match for the Lions, who honored seniors Carolyn Costa and Sydney Clark before the start of play. Columbia ends the year 13-6 overall, and 4-3 in the Ivy League.
Tennis Match Results
Penn vs Columbia
Apr 22, 2012 at Dick Savitt Tennis Center
Columbia 6, Penn 1
Order of Finish: 2, 3*, 1
1. Nicole Bartnik (COL) def. Sol Eskenazi (PENN) 6-2, 7-5
2. Bianca Sanon (COL) def. Stephanie Do (PENN) 6-1, 6-3
3. Iani Alecsiu (COL) def. Alex Ion (PENN) 6-3, 6-0
4. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) def. Daniela DePaoli (PENN) 6-3, 6-4
5. Srinidhi Raghavan (PENN) def. Chelsea Davis (COL) 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7)
6. Tiana Takenaga (COL) def. Emma Whitfield (PENN) 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 6, 3*, 4, 1, 5