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April 20, 2014

Princeton Completes Perfect Conference Slate to Win Women's Tennis Title

Courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- It isn't unprecedented, what the Princeton women's tennis team accomplished Sunday afternoon, but it sure is impressive.

A 6-1 win over Columbia was Princeton's 10 victory in a row and it delivered not only the outright Ivy League championship, but the Ivy's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship, both for the first time for Princeton since 2010.

Just a month ago, Princeton was 8-5 on the season with four of the losses having come to ITA-ranked teams. The last of those was by a 6-1 margin to No. 13 Miami on March 19. A day later, before the team left Florida, the Tigers beat Florida International 4-3. At the time, it seemed like a nice way to end the spring break trip, but now, it's so much more.

That match began Princeton on the current 10-match winning streak, with home victories over Maryland and FDU to get the team ramped up for the Ivy season. A win over Penn got the Ivy slate started the right way, but it was a 4-3 win at No. 52 Yale, which has won or shared the last three Ivy League titles, that really got things going.

Unranked at the time, Princeton began taking leaps up the ITA list, re-entering at No. 69 and coming into this weekend at No. 58. After the Yale win, two more victories over ranked opponents followed, over No. 46 Harvard and today against No. 37 Columbia, the highest-ranked opponent Princeton has defeated in three years, since taking down No. 29 Yale in the 2011 Ivy season.

Princeton entered the day assured of nothing except a share of the Ivy title, a piece clinched with Friday's win over Cornell and with Columbia's loss at Yale last weekend, making it so that Princeton could do no worse than 6-1 and Columbia no better than that should the Lions have won today. A trip to the NCAA Tournament was no sure thing for the Tigers either, having a No. 58 ranking entering the week.

But with the win, there will be no nervousness next Tuesday when the NCAA bracket is revealed (5:30 p.m. ET on NCAA.com). For the fifth time in program history, and for the third time upon a 7-0 Ivy League season, the Tigers will be playing in May.

Match notes: Sivan Krems' win at fourth singles was her first singles win in two chances during the Ivy League season; Krems played at third singles against Cornell ... the win at first doubles by Lindsay Graff and Alanna Wolff over Bianca Sanon and Kanika Vaidya was just the second win for Princeton over an ITA-ranked doubles pair during either part of the 2013-14 campaign; the other came in September at a Missouri-hosted event by Katherine Flanigan and Emily Hahn over a Missouri pair that was ranked No. 32 in the nation.

No. 58 Princeton 6, No. 37 Columbia 1
Doubles
1. Lindsay Graff/Alanna Wolff (PRIN) def. Bianca Sanon/Kanika Vaidya (COL) 8-3
2. Tina Jiang/Crystal Leung (COL) def. Emily Hahn/?? Joyce (PRIN) 8-1
3. Joan Cannon/Dorothy Tang (PRIN) def. Ioana Alecsiu/Tiana Takenaga (COL) 8-3

Singles
1. Lindsay Graff (PRIN) def. Kanika Vaidya (COL) 7-6(5), 6-4
2. Alanna Wolff (PRIN) def. Bianca Sanon (COL) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
3. Tina Jiang (COL) def. Emily Hahn (PRIN) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. Sivan Krems (PRIN) def. Crystal Leung (COL) 7-5, 7-6(3)
5. Dorothy Tang (PRIN) def. Ioana Alecsiu (COL) 7-5, 6-1
6. Katie Goepel (PRIN) def. Tiana Takenaga (COL) 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-3

Order of Finish
Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,3,4,1,6,2)