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Columbia U Lions effort turns icy losing games to Princeton and Dartmouth at ECAC tourney

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by GALE MOORMAN

Snow and inclement weather conditions wasn't the only stress issue the Columbia Lions had on their minds at this year's ECAC event. The concerns for a safe arrival at Harvard's Murr Center was granted but they were the defending champions and their strong desire to keep their title started looking a bit bleak.

The Harvard Crimson ladies seeded number six might have had a break too because their duel with Columbia, due to weather conditions was cancelled. The schedule was changed so the Lions started off playing the Princeton Tigers, the Ivy Leaguer seeded number one while Columbia follows them as being ranked two.

The event started with the doubles round, Columbia's main forte of tennis play. It was the eager Lions who weren't to be outdone and they claimed the doubles point with Rima Asatrian and Andrea Kevakian who swung their magic proving victorious over the Tigers' Sivan Krems and Katrine Steffensen.

The spirit of combining their strategies helped the Lions Adi Milstein and Alexandra Solovyev (no. 2 doubles) bounce forward with a 6-4 win over the Tigers' Caroline Joyce and Nicole Kalhorn. The Lions were now facing a 1-0 lead and when they continued their streak when Solovyev claimed a 6-2, 6-3 win over Princeton's Krems, that resulted in those two points being the only ones Columbia would capture in that Princeton play.

Princeton's Kalhorn won the singles over Columbia's Milstein (no. 5 singles) 6-1, 6-0. The Tigers' Caroline Joyce dominated the Lions' Ali Pollock (no. 3 singles) to win a 6-4, 6-1 match. But Katrine Steffensen pushed hard to capture a 6-2, 6-4 win over Rima Asatrian and Tiffany Chen who fought strongly, overpowering Andrea Kevakian of Columbia to dominate and succeed in a 7-5, 6-4 win.

Columbia now is held off at 1-5 in the 2017 dual matches including Princeton. But this weekend didn't go quite the Columbia Lions' way. After facing Princeton with a roar to obtain two points with the Tigers leading 4-2, the Lions had more of a purr upon facing Dartmouth at Harvard's home turf - the Murr Center in Massachusetts.

Dartmouth captured three singles matches to win the series; and if it wasn't their Taylor Ng's victory over Columbia's Rima Asatrian at 6-1, 6-1, it was the Big Green's Racquel Lyn's win over the Lions' Renee Ren 6-2, 6-1.

Dartmouth's racket strings caught a too aggressive strategy as their own Chuyong Guan went a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Columbia's Adi Milstein. Dartmouth's Lady green started dismantling the Lions' strategy early as they acquired the first point to claim the doubles status.

The Big Green's number one doubles of Ng/Mathis was ever overbearing in tactics to defeat Columbia's Milstein/Solovyev duo of 6-3. It was also the number two team of Dartmouth's Julia Schroeder and Racquel Lyn to capture a 6-2 win over Columbia's doubles Asatrian and Kevakian.

As the long ago singing duo of 'Sonny and Cher' says that 'and the beat goes on' and it will also for the Columbia Lady Lions. They have work to do with re-grouping and correcting the disadvantages that plagued them on their trip to New England.

Columbia continues touring away as they match up to play the Kentucky Wildcats on Friday, February 24th at Lexington, Kentucky. .

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