NEW YORK—The Columbia women’s tennis team rallied from a 3-2 deficit with back-to-back singles wins by senior co-captain Adi Milstein and junior Sarah Hu to defeat Penn 4-3 Friday afternoon at Dick Savitt Tennis Center. Columbia’s victory was its fourth consecutive win and improved the Lions to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in Ivy League play.
After Milstein tied the match at 3-3 with a 7-6, 6-0 win over Penn’s Jennifer Richards at No. 6 singles, Hu battled from behind and clinched the win for Columbia with a dramatic 1-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Penn’s Jimena Rodriguez-Benito.
“Sarah has been in that situation previously this year against Maryland,” Columbia Head Coach Ilene Weintraub said. “It didn’t go her way that day but I know she learned a lot from that experience and that was evident today. I’m happy to see her pull it out.”
“Our team is really having fun when they’re playing in practice and in matches,” said Weintraub of the four-match win streak. “I feel that they’re enjoying it and the tennis is coming from that. They focus every day in practice and our confidence comes from that.”
Penn claimed the doubles point by winning two of the three matches. Columbia’s No. 1 doubles combination of senior Adi Milstein and first-year Christie Wan won a 6-0 match over Penn’s Lina
First-year Paulina Ferrari made her first dual match lineup appearance during spring season but dropped a 6-1, 6-1 decision to Penn’s Marta Kowalska at No. 3 singles. Junior co-captain Andrea Kevakian won a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Penn’s Ashley Zhu at No. 2 singles, then first-year Jennifer Kerr tied the match at 2-2 with a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles over Penn’s Lina
From that point on, Marija Curnic gave Penn a 3-2 advantage with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Columbia sophomore Ali Pollack. That set the stage for Milstein’s win at No. 6 singles and Hu’s heroic win at No. 4.
“Andrea played the same opponent at ECAC’s and it was a very tight match," Weintraub said. "Today, she was able to step up in the second set and dictate the tennis. Jennifer had an impressive win in the No. 1 singles position and Adi continues to be tremendously competitive at the bottom of our lineup."
Penn drops to 7-10 overall and 0-2 in Ivy League play.
Columbia is back in action on Sunday at No. 46 ranked Princeton for a 1 p.m. start.
COLUMBIA 4, PENN 3 (Women’s Tennis)
Friday, April 6, 2018, Dick Savitt Tennis Center, New York, N.Y.
No. 1: Jennifer Kerr (Columbia) defeats Lina
No. 2: Andrea Kevakian (Columbia) defeats Ashley Zhu (Penn) 6-3, 6-3.
No. 3: Marta Kowalska (Penn) defeats Paulina Ferrari (Columbia) 6-1, 6-1.
No. 4: Sarah Hu (Columbia) defeats Jimena Rodriguez-Benito (Penn) 1-6, 6-0, 6-4.
No. 5: Marija Curnic (Penn) defeats Ali Pollack (Columbia) 6-2, 6-4.
No. 6: Adi Milstein (Columbia) vs. Jennifer Richards (Penn) 7-6, 6-0.
Final Score: Columbia 4, Penn 3; Time of Match: 2:43. Order of Finish: Doubles- 1, 2, 3. Singles- 3, 2, 1, 5, 6, 4. Records: Columbia: 10-5, 2-0 Ivy League; Penn 7-10, 0-2 Ivy League; Attendance: 97.