NEW YORK - The Columbia women's tennis team will send a trio of representatives to the 2012 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, set to begin Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The All-American Championships will run from Sept. 29 through Oct. 7.
The event kicks off with two days of pre-qualifying action this weekend. Columbia's Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga will be among the first doubles pairs to begin play Saturday. The doubles pair has won five of their six matches this fall and will open competition at the All-American Championships against Auburn's Jen Pfeifler and Jackie Kasler.
If the Columbia duo tops Pfeifler and Kasler, they must win two more matches Sunday to advance onto the qualifying round held Oct. 2-3.
Sanon has also been selected to compete in the pre-qualifying singles draw. Sanon, who is 5-2 in singles play this fall, will face Baylor's Ema Burgic in the first round at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Similar to the doubles draw, Sanon will have to win two more matches to advance to the qualifying draw. A defeat of Burgic would pit Sanon against the winner of Courtney Dolenide (UCLA) and Janine Weinreich (Nebraska) match at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Columbia's third participant is Nicole Bartnik. The senior from Bradenton, Fla. was the only Ivy League player selected to the main draw competition this year. Bartnik, ranked No. 96 in the nation, finished the 2011-12 season as the top-ranked student-athlete in the northeast region, earning her the selection to the main draw of the All-American Championships. Main draw competition will begin Oct. 4 and conclude Oct. 7.
To view an interview with Bartnik, click play on the photo above.