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Seniors (with flowers, L to R): Lucy Leopold, Katarina Kovacevic and Nicole Bartnik
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Brock Malone

No. 65 Women's Tennis Earns First Ivy League Title with Win Over No. 73 Princeton

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/21/2013
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NEW YORK – The No. 65 Columbia women’s tennis team posted a memorable victory for its three seniors Sunday at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center, as the Lions swept the visiting Princeton Tigers, 7-0. The win is the just third in the history of the women’s tennis program over No. 73 Princeton and first since the 2005 season. The win paired with Yale's loss at Harvard also ensures the Lions at least a share of their first Ivy League title.

The Lions finish the regular season 6-1 in the Ivy League and 13-5 overall, both program bests. Yale is 5-1 with one match remaining at Brown next weekend. If the Bulldogs win at Brown, Yale and Columbia will split the Ivy League title. A Bears victory would give Columbia the title outright.

After the short Senior Day ceremony and introductions of the lineups, play got underway with doubles action. The Lions and Tigers traded points during the initial stages of each match, until about the midway point when Columbia began to take control.

Senior Nicole Bartnik and sophomore Crystal Leung were the first to notch a win for Columbia, as Leung served her way to the 8-3 victory. At 7-4 in the No. 3 match, Ioana Alecsiu and Tiana Takenaga provided the clinching point just shortly after, taking down Monica Chow and Katie Goepel. The Lions’ Bianca Sanon and Kanika Vaidya were leading 6-5 in the top match when play was called.

The victories kept rolling in for the Lions in singles action. Alecsiu produced Columbia’s second point, breezing past Joan Cannon by a score of 6-1, 6-2. First-year Kanika Vaidya was the next to wrap up a point for Columbia, defeating Monica Chow, 6-2, 6-3, in the No. 3 match. Bianca Sanon ensured the team win for the Lions, knocking off Katherine Flanigan, 6-1, 6-3, in the No. 2 match.

After a tough first set, Nicole Bartnik scored a 6-4, 6-2 win in the top singles match over Lindsay Graff. With the win, Bartnik, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, has now gone undefeated in conference play each of the last two seasons.

Senior Katarina Kovacevic played a valiant match in the fifth slot, battling back from one set down and then down 5-2 in the third set to knock off Emily Hahn. After dropping the opening set, Kovacevic ripped through the second, 6-0, to set the stage for a decisive third. Hahn was able to rush out to the 5-2 advantage, but Kovacevic strung together numerous points, eventually forcing a 6-6 tiebreak. The Columbia senior would triumph there, giving Columbia the 6-0 lead.

Crystal Leung completed the sweep, winning a 10-point third-set tiebreak, 10-8, over Katie Goepel.

Columbia 7, Princeton 0
Doubles:
1) No. Sanon/Vaidya (C) vs. Graff/Cannon (P) - 6-5, DNF
2) Bartnik/Leung (C) def. Flanigan/Hahn (P) - 8-3
3) Alecsiu/Takenaga (C) def. Chow/Goepel (P) - 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1 DNF
Singes:
1) Nicole Bartnik (C) def. Lindsay Graff (P) - 6-4, 6-2
2) Bianca Sanon (C) def. Katherine Flanigan (P) - 6-1, 6-3
3) Kanika Vaidya (C) def. Monica Chow (P) - 6-2, 6-3
4) Crystal Leung (C) def. Katie Goepel (P) - 7-6(3), 5-7, 10-8
5) Katarina Kovacevic (C) def. Emily Hahn (P) - 2-6, 6-0, 7-6
6) Ioana Alecsiu (C) def. Joan Cannon (P) - 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 2, 1, 5, 4

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