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NEW YORK - The Columbia women's tennis team will hit the road for the first time this fall, heading to Philadelphia, Pa. to compete at the Cissie Leary Invitational. The tournament, hosted by Penn, begins Friday, Sept. 21 and continues through Sunday, Sept. 23.

The Cissie Leary Invitational will feature student-athletes from 16 teams. Penn will host the tournament at the Hamilton Tennis Center in the southern portion of Penn Park. The facility opened in the fall of 2011 and features 12 all-weather courts.  Six of the courts have been set up to all for stadium seating from an elevated area.

Five Ivy League schools will be represented at the event. Including Columbia and Penn, Cornell, Dartmouth and Yale are each slated to compete over the weekend. The rest of the field includes: Akron, Bowdoin, Delaware, Drexel, Maryland, Penn State, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. John's, St. Joseph's and Temple.

Last weekend, the Lions opened the 2012-13 campaign at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center, hosting the Columbia Invitational. Of the six flights competed, Columbia crowned champions in four of them. Nicole Bartnik and Kanika Vaidya came away with singles titles in flight A and B, respectively, while Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga won doubles flight A. Katarina Kovacevic and Vaidya paired up to win flight B doubles by a score of 8-3 against Penn's Yapp-Shing/Ion.

Each year, Penn hosts the Cissie Leary Invitational to honor the late Cissie Leary who passed away in November of 1996 after a lengthy battle with scleroderma. Leary coached Penn for 20 years, accumulating 16 seasons with a winning record, including five straight undefeated seasons from 1981-1985.


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