WEST POINT, N.Y. - The 2012 ITA Women's Northeast Regional
Championships got underway Friday with the qualifying singles and open doubles
draws. Columbia's Ioana Alecsiu made the most of the first day, winning her
first two matches, while two doubles teams advanced to the round of 16.
Alecsiu began the day with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Madison
Craft from Boston University. In the round of 16, Alecsiu defeated Delaware's
Dorothy Safron in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Alecsiu will now advance on to the main draw set to begin
tomorrow. Her round of 128 opponent will be Fatya Amiri from St. Bonaventure.
Six Columbia student-athletes will be in action in the main draw.
In doubles, two Columbia pairs won two matches Friday to
advance on to the round of 16. Bianca Sanon and Tiana Takenaga, the second seed
in the draw, won a tightly contested opening round match 9-8(6) over Janet Liu
and Suzy Tan from Dartmouth. In the round of 32, Sanon and Takenaga were able
to get by Noor Judeh and Lindsay Kayati from Rutgers by a wider margin of 8-4.
Nicole Bartnik and Crystal Leung similarly faced a tough
challenge in the opening round, but prevailed 8-6 over Natalie Blosser and
Hai-Li Kong from Harvard. Bartnik and Leung then went on to topple Alex
Kelleher and Katy Vasilyev, 8-2, to earn a spot on the round of 16.
Columbia's third doubles pair of Lauren Stratman and Kanicka
Vaidya won their first round matchup, 8-4, over Anika Novacek and Amy Simidian
from Fordham, but fell in a tie break in the next round.
Play continues Saturday in West Point, N.Y.