Domination was the word of the day for women’s tennis, as the No. 51 Lions overpowered No. 54 University of Denver on Friday for a 6-1 victory.
The Light Blue had control of the match from the get-go. The No. 20 pair of junior Crystal Leung and first-year Tina Jiang and the No. 24 duo of senior Bianca Sanon and sophomore Kanika Vaidya both captured 6-0 victories. Leung and Jiang especially frustrated their opponents with their strong performance, eliciting audible groans and cries of discontent.
With those two wins firmly in hand, the Lions swiftly clinched the doubles point to head into singles with a 1-0 lead.
“I think the girls competed really well—especially in doubles,” head coach Ilene Weintraub, CC ’02, said. “It’s always great when we can dominate and get the doubles point really quickly, so that we get that one point up and give us the momentum going into singles."
The Lions carried that energy and blew past the Pioneers in one-on-one competition. Leung, Sanon, and Jiang picked up right where they left off, each winning her first singles set 6-0. No. 101 Sanon, playing in the No. 2 singles position, ended up as the first to finish, and Leung followed shortly thereafter, both picking up a 6-2 second set to extend Columbia’s lead to 3-0. No. 75 Vaidya, at No. 1, was next off the court, clinching the match with a 6-2, 6-1 win.
“I want to give credit to Kanika and Bianca today, because at one and two they’re really leading us out here,” Weintraub said. “It’s great when you can see them dominate at the top of the lineup.”
Though the Light Blue won five of the six singles matches, Weintraub said the team could still improve in winning big points. She pointed to Tiana Takenaga’s match for an example, as the senior held a 9-7 lead in the third set 10-point tiebreaker, but couldn’t convert and fell 11-9.
“I think that’s something to take away from this match, that we need to keep working on and keep talking about as a group,” Weintraub said. “Come Ivy season, I want us to be ready for those big moments.”
The Lions will be back in action next weekend, hosting the ECAC Team Tournament.