NEW YORK – In one of the closest matches with Harvard in years, the Columbia women’s tennis team nearly beat the Crimson, falling at the last second, 4-3. The Lions won the doubles point, but saw the Crimson take four singles matches to edge them out, in the closest match for the two teams since 2007-08. With the loss, the Lions are now 11-4 overall, 2-1 in the Ivy League. 

Columbia started the match with a bang, taking two thrilling doubles wins to earn the team doubles point. Harvard had a win in the top spot, as sophomores Tiana Takenaga and Bianca Sanon fell to Kelly Whelan and Hideko Tachibana, 8-7(5). But Columbia took the Nos.2 and 3 matches, as Nicole Bartnik and Iani Alecsiu beat Hannah Morrill and Kristin Norton, 8-6 at No.2, and Katarina Kovacevic and Crystal Leung beat Samathna Gridley and Camille Jania at No.3, 8-6. 

Harvard was able to rally in singles, and get quick wins in three spots. At No.3, Jaina beat Iani Alecsiu, 6-1, 6-2, at No.5, Gridley beat Kovacevic, 6-2, 6-3, and at No.6, Morrill defeated Takenaga, 6-0, 6-4. 

Columbia got a win in the No.2 spot from Sanon, who beat Norton easily, 6-3, 6-3, and the team score stood at 3-2, in favor of Harvard. Still playing were the matches at Nos. 1 and 4, where three set battles had developed. Columbia needed to win both to take the match, and despite a strong effort by the Lions, Harvard came out on top. 

Bartnik was able to get a win in the No.1 spot, beating Tachibana, 5-7, 6-1, 6-5(2), but Natalie Blosser clinched the match for the Crimson at No.4, keeping Leung from coming back, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Up next for the Lions is an important home weekend, as Columbia will host Yale, Saturday, April 14 at 12 p.m., and Brown, Sunday, April 15 at 12 p.m. 

Tennis Match Results
Columbia vs Harvard
Apr 07, 2012 at Cambridge, Mass.

Harvard 4, Columbia 3

1. Kelly Whelan/Hideko Tachibana (HAR) def. Tiana Takenaga/Bianca Sanon (COL) 8-7 (5)
2. Nicole Bartnik/Iani Alecsiu (COL) def. Hannah Morrill/Kristin Norton (HAR) 8-6
3. Katarina Kovacevic/Crystal Leung (COL) def. Samantha Gridley/Camille Jania (HAR) 8-6

1. Nicole Bartnik (COL) def. Hideko Tachibana (HAR) 5-7, 6-1, 6-5 (2)
2. Bianca Sanon (COL) def. Kristin Norton (HAR) 6-3, 6-3
3. Camille Jania (HAR) def. Iani Alecsiu (COL) 6-1, 6-2
4. Natalie Blosser (HAR) def. Crystal Leung (COL) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
5. Samantha Gridley (HAR) def. Katarina Kovacevic (COL) 6-2, 6-3
6. Hannah Morrill (HAR) def. Tiana Takenaga (COL) 6-0, 6-4