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FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. - The Columbia women's tennis team completed a very successful day at the USTA BJK NTC Women's College Invitational, advancing five singles players to the semifinals and two doubles teams onto the quarterfinals.

In the 'A' singles draw, freshman Kanika Vaidya continued to excel in her first semester with Columbia, winning a pair of matches Saturday. Vaidya opened the tournament with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Boston College's Heini Salonen and then went onto to dominate Fairfield's Monica Yajima, 6-0, 6-1. The second-seeded Misia Krasowski from Brown will meet Vaidya in the semifinals.

Bianca Sanon had similar success in the 'B' singles draw, reaching the semifinals with two straight-set victories. Sanon, the top seed in the 'B' draw, downed Binghamton's Katya Medianik, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round before defeating Charleston Southern's Marketa Piacha, 6-3, 6-3, in the quarterfinals. Dartmouth's Janet Liu will be across the net from Sanon in the semifinals.

Crystal Leung became the third Columbia student-athlete to reach the semifinals, winning two matches as the second seed in the 'C' draw. Leung beat NC State's Chloe Smith, 6-0, 6-2, to begin the day and followed that win with a 6-4, 6-4 showing over Akiko Okuda from Dartmouth. Cornell's Laila Judeh will face Leung in the semifinals.  

In the 'D' draw, Lauren Stratman made it four Lions in the semifinals. Stratman topped Brown's Nikita Uberoi, 6-4, 6-3, and then picked up win number two over Binghamton's Sara Kohtz, 6-1, 6-2. NC State's Elisha Handle earned the right to face Stratman in the semifinals after defeating the 'D' draw top seed, Katie Goepel from Princeton.

Amy Li earned her spot in the semifinals of the 'G' draw with two straight-set wins. Alexis Tashiro from Binghamton was Li's first victim, falling by a score of 6-2, 6-1. Li then went on to defeat Egzona Morina from Fairleigh Dickinson, 6-2, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals where she will go up against Cornell Sara Perelman. Tiana Takenaga was also in action in the 'G'draw, winning her opening round match, 6-1, 6-0, over Charleston Southern's Chanel Bell. Takenaga though would fall in the quarterfinals.

Katarina Kovacevic won her first round match in the 'F' draw over Shivani Patel from St. Francis in a tough three-set battle, 6-4, 4-6, 12-10, but was defeated in the quarterfinals.

In the doubles portion of the tournament, Sanon and Takenaga won their opening round match against Rutgers Vanessa Petrini and Miriam Zein, 8-4, in the '1' draw. Leung and Li also found success as a doubles tandem, defeating Army's Margaret Illiev and Carolyn Pitman, 8-4, in the '3' draw.

Action continues at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Sunday.


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