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Princeton Prevails, Columbia Falls in NCAA Women's Tennis Championship First-Round Action

Princeton's Alanna Wolff
Princeton's Alanna Wolff


Portions courtesy of Columbia Media Relations/Sports Information and Alabama Athletic Media Relations
Photo courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. & TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- History was made for Ivy League women's tennis on Friday as Princeton captured its first postseason win in school history and Columbia made its first-ever postseason appearance in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship.

In what will surely go down as one of the best first-round matches of this year's tournament, Princeton rallied from behind to defeat Arizona State, 4-3, at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. The match, which lasted five hours, was the Tigers' first NCAA Tournament win in five appearances.

"The big thing we reiterated to the girls was to compete hard," said Princeton head coach Laura Granville. "We told them every single point to give it all you have, and we did that across the board. We are really happy and proud for them."

The Tigers (19-5, 7-0 Ivy League) trailed 1-0 after dropping a close doubles point to the Sun Devils (18-8, 5-5 Pac-12) with losses on courts one and three. Princeton would first, however, win on court two by an 8-5 decision. Trailing 5-4, sophomores Amanda Muliawan and Emily Hahn came back to take the final four-straight games for the victory over the Sun Devils' Kassidy Jump and Joanna Smith.

On court three, Arizona State's Ebony Panoho and Alexandra Osborne used an early advantage in the tiebreaker to help them to an 8-7(3) decision over freshman Dorothy Tang and junior Joan Cannon, leaving the point up to the matchup on court one. The Sun Devils' Desirae Krawczyk and Leighann Sahagun broke to take a 7-5 lead late in the match, however Ivy League Player of the Year Lindsay Graff and freshman Alanna Wolff countered in the next game to break back. Krawczyk and Sahagun broke yet again to take the match, 8-6, awarding Arizona State the 1-0 lead.

In singles, the Sun Devils won four of six first sets and would take a 3-1 lead with victories on courts four and five following a win from the Tigers' Muliawan, 7-5, 6-4, on court three. Graff then gave Princeton its second point of the match, winning 7-5, 6-4 on court one over 69th-ranked Stephanie Vlad. The remaining two matches would go into third sets as the Tigers came back to split sets on both.

First to finish was the matchup on court six, which featured a second-set tiebreaker that junior Katie Goepel would win 7-6(9) over Gussie O'Sullivan, who dominated the first set, 6-1. In the third, it was all Goepel, who closed it out by a score of 6-2. At that point all attention would turn to court two, which was locked at 3-3 in the third set. Wolff earned, what would end up being, a pivotal break in the next game and served for the match and team win to take it 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 over Krawczyk.

Earlier in the day in a grueling four-hour tightly-contested matchup at the Snyder Tennis Center in Charlottesville, Va., Columbia came up short in a 4-2 decision to Kentucky.

The 38th-ranked Lions (16-5, 5-2 Ivy League) gave the Wildcats (17-11, 5-8 SEC) all they could handle despite an injury during singles play. Trailing, 2-0, and with its season on the brink, each player rose to the occasion to force tiebreak after tiebreak and deciding sets.

Senior Bianca Sanon and sophomore Kanika Vaidya posted an 8-4 doubles victory in the first match to conclude, but Kentucky took the final two doubles contests to earn the point. The Lions' No. 2 pair of Tina Jiang and Crystal Leung suffered their first defeat in 16 matches.

In singles play, things looked bleak for Columbia after Vaidya was forced to retire due to injury while leading 4-3 in the first set. However Sanon and Jiang each overcame early deficits to prevail in straight sets and tie the match at 2-2.

That would be last points the Lions could muster as the Wildcats closed the match with wins at the No. 5 and 6 spots.

#47 Princeton 4, #25 Arizona State 3
1. Krawczyk/Sahagun (ASU) def. #Graf/Wolff (PU) 8-6
2. Emily Hahn/Muliawan (PU) def. Jump/Smith (ASU) 8-5
3. Alexandra Osborne/Panoho (ASU) def. Joan Cannon/Tang (PU) 8-7(3)
Order of Finish: 2,3,1*

1. Lindsay Graff (PU) def. #69 Stephanie Vlad (ASU) 7-5, 6-4
2. #94 Alanna Wolff def. #37 Desirae Krawczyk (ASU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
3. Amanda Muliawan (PU) def. Kassidy Jump (ASU) 7-5, 6-4
4. Leighann Sahagun (ASU) def. Sican Krems (PU) 7-6, 7-5
5. Ebony Panoho (ASU) def. Dorothy Tang (PU) 6-1, 5-7, 7-5
6. Katie Goepel (PU) def. Joanna Smith (ASU) 1-6, 7-6, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3,4,5,1,6,2*

#32 Kentucky 4, #38 Columbia 2
1. #22 Sanon/Vaidya (CU) def. #34 Witten/McGraw (UK) 8-4
2. #56 Sutjiadi/Ravita (UK) def. #44 Jiang/Leung (CU) 8-4

3. Morin-Kougoucheff/Lewis (UK) def. Takenaga/Alecsiu (CU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*

1. #47 Nadia Ravita (UK) def. Kanika Vaidya (CU) 3-4, retired

2. Bianca Sanon (CU) def. #125 Aldila Sutjiadi (UK) 7-6(6), 6-1

3. Tina Jiang (CU) def. Kelsey Dieters (UK) 7-6(4), 6-3

4. Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff (UK) vs. Crystal Leung (CU) 7-5, 6-7(2), 4-2, DNF
5. Kirsten Lewis (UK) def. Tiana Takenaga (CU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
6. Caitlin McGraw (UK) def. Ioana Alecsiu (CU) 6-4, 7-6(4)
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3, 6, 5*