Zahra Dawson
Zahra Dawson
Height: 5-10
Year: Sr.
Hometown: Ft. Washington, MD
High School: The Maret School
Major: Applied Mathematics
Parents: Monte Dawson & Denise Cook

Senior (2011-12):

Dawson ended her Emory career as the program's all-time leader in doubles victories, as the senior surpassed former Eagle Mary Ellen Gordon with her 105th career win during the NCAA Tournament semifinals on May 26th.  Dawson teamed with Gabrielle Clark to finish second in the doubles draw at the NCAA Championships for the second time in her career.  She went 16-10 during the season in singles play, giving her an 86-39 career ledger and the second-most singles wins in school history.  During the NCAA Team Championships, Dawson claimed a three-set victory in the third singles match to help the team advance to the quarterfinals.  She finished the year as the 17th-ranked singles player in the Atlantic South Region.  In doubles play, she went 29-9 during the year, including a 17-7 mark as part of the team's top doubles pairing during the spring season.  Dawson earned all-America status for her doubles play in both the fall and the spring.  She claimed a victory in the doubles draw with Clark at the ITA Fall Regionals, advancing to and winning the Division III draw of the ITA Small College Nationals as well, before falling in the 'Super Bowl' to the winners of the NAIA draw from Oklahoma Christian College.  Dawson went 2-1 in the ITA Fall Regional singles draw, advancing to the round of 16.  Dawson was named the UAA Athlete of the Week on four occassions during the season - October 17th, March 19th, April 2nd and May 14th.  She also received numerous academic honors after the season, including an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and a spot on the Academic All-America First Team, becoming the fourth player in the program's history to claim each honor, in addition to being named an ITA Scholar Athlete.  Dawson was invited to the White House after the 2012 season as part of the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Title IX. 

Junior (2010-11):

Dawson claimed all-America honors for the third-consecutive year during her junior campaign, following her victories in the singles and doubles draws at the USTA/ITA Fall South Region Championships.  She ended the year ranked 40th in Division III and 12th in the Atlantic South Region for her singles play, and 24th in Division III and sixth in the region for her doubles play.  Dawson would go on to finish sixth in the singles draw of the ITA Fall Nationals, and teamed with Lorne McManigle to claim fourth in the doubles bracket.  She led all Eagles in singles victories during the season, going 28-9 during the year, including a mark of 11-4 as the team's fourth singles player.  Her 31-5 record in doubles matches gave her the second-most victories by an Eagle during the year.  Dawson earned all-UAA first team honors for her performance as the Eagles' fourth singles and second doubles player.  Dawson earned UAA Athlete of the Week honors on October 4th and April 11th.  She was named the ITA's Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship award winner for the Atlantic South Region, in addition to earning nods to the Capital One Academic all-America second team, Academic all-District first team, and an ITA Scholar Athlete Award for the 2010-11 season.

Sophomore (2009-10):

Dawson earned all-America honors for the second-consecutive season, finishing the season as the ninth-ranked singles player, and second-ranked doubles team, in Division III.  Teamed with partner Lorne McManigle, Dawson advanced to the finals of the NCAA Division III Doubles Championships, before losing in three sets to the national-champion pairing from the University of Chicago.  She finished the season with a doubles record of 23-13, including a 15-10 mark as the Eagles' first-doubles team.  The 23 wins in doubles matches led the team during the season.  In singles play, Dawson recorded a 19-11 record, including a 14-9 mark in Emory's dual matches, and a 6-4 record as the team's first singles player.  At the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, she was named to the all-UAA second team for both singles and doubles play.  During the fall season, Dawson won the Wilson/ ITA Fall South Region Doubles Championship, advancing to the Small College Nationals where the duo finished sixth.  She also finished second in the ITA Regional Singles Championship in the fall.   

Freshman (2008-09):

Dawson made an immediate impact with the Eagles, earning all-America honors during her freshman year, based on her finishing the season as the 17th-ranked singles player in Division III.  She selected as a participant to the NCAA Division III Singles Tournament, where she suffered a first-round defeat to the sixth-seeded player in the bracket.  Dawson earned all-University Athletic Association First Team honors as the Eagles' second singles and second doubles player.  She finished the year with a 23-9 record in singles play, including a trip to the finals of the Wilson/ ITA Atlantic South Regional singles championships.  In doubles play, she finished the year with a 22-7 record, including a mark of 16-3 during her final 19 doubles matches of the season, when she was paired with Lorne McManigle.  Dawson and McManigle finished the year as the 19th-ranked doubles team in the nation.  Based on her performance during the season, Dawson was named the team's Rookie of the Year.

Career Record:

SINGLES TOTAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 Tour. Final Nat'l Rank Final Reg. Rank
2008-09 23-9 1-0 17-7 -- -- -- -- 5-2 17th 5th
2009-10 19-11 6-4 8-5 -- -- -- -- 5-2 9th 2nd
2010-11 28-9 1-0 2-0 5-1 11-4 -- -- 9-4 40th 12th
2011-12 16-10 1-0 5-1 8-8 -- -- -- 2-1 NR 17th
Total 86-39 9-4 32-13 13-9 11-4 -- -- 21-9  
DOUBLES TOTAL 1 2 3 Tourn.   Final Nat'l Rank Final Reg. Rank
2008-09 22-7 -- 20-6 -- 2-1 19th 5th
2009-10 23-13 15-10 -- -- 8-3 2nd 1st
2010-11 31-5 2-2 17-2 4-0 8-1 24th 6th
2011-12 29-9 17-7 1-0 -- 11-2 2nd 1st
Total 105*-34 34-19 38-8 4-0 29-7  

* Emory Record


2008-09 All-America Singles
All-UAA Second Singles First Team
Second Doubles First Team
ITA Scholar Athlete
2009-10 All-America Singles
All-UAA First Singles Second Team
First Doubles Second Team
ITA Fall National Participant Doubles 6th Place
ITA Fall Regional Champion Doubles
ITA Scholar Athlete
2010-11 All-America Singles (Fall)
Doubles (Fall)
Atlantic South Region Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award
All-UAA Fourth Singles First Team
Second Doubles First Team
ITA Fall National Participant Singles 6th
Doubles 4th
ITA Fall Regional Champion Singles
Capital One Academic All-America Second Team
Capital One Academic All-District First Team
ITA Scholar Athlete
2011-12 All-America Doubles (Fall)
Capital One/ CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team
Capital One/ CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team
NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient
ITA Scholar Athlete

Prior to Emory:

Played on the Maret School tennis team... Won her high school division in 2006... Coached by AHarry Volz.


Born May 1, 1990... Also a member of Emory's Ngambika step team and the Black Student Alliance... Volunteered at Grady Hospital.


"I chose Emory because its a perfect balance between academics and tennis. I love the location and the people are really nice as well."