No. 5 Eagles’ NCAA Championship Run Ends with Loss to #1 Williams
The fifth-ranked Emory University women's tennis team suffered a 5-3 loss to top-ranked Williams College in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Championships, ending their quest for the 2012 National Title.
The Eagles will face third-ranked Amherst College at 12:30 PM on Wednesday in the third-place match. The Lord Jeffs (18-4) were defeated by the second-ranked University of Chicago 5-1 in the semifinals on Tuesday. Emory bested Amherst 5-4 on April 14th.
Emory fell behind early in the doubles matches, as Allie Damico and Jordan Wylie suffered an 8-1 defeat in third doubles at the hands of Caroline Capute and Rebecca Curran. The Eagles bounced back at second doubles, with Brenna Kelly and Malavika Padmanabhan earning an 8-5 win over Williams' Kristin Alotta and Kathleen Elkins. However, the Ephs would take the lead heading into singles play, as Gabrielle Clark and Zahra Dawson fell 8-6 to Taylor French and Kara Shoemaker.
The Eagles suffered another quick setback at sixth singles, where Lauren Pinsky was defeated by Maria Pylypiv, 6-0, 6-1. However, Emory would bounce back at first singles, with Clark earning a 6-3, 6-1 win over Alotta, pulling the Eagles back to within a match, 3-2.
Williams would claim another match at fourth singles, as Elkins defeated Padmanabhan 6-4, 6-1, putting the Ephs within a match of advancing to the finals. Dawson would postpone Emory's elimination with a 6-1, 6-3 win at third singles over Nancy Worley, but Capute would finish it off for Williams, defeating Emory's Kelly at fifth singles, 6-4, 6-3. Kelly fought tough in the second set of the match, fending off numerous match points and but could not come back from a 5-0 deficit to start the set.
At the time the match was stopped, Wylie trailed Shoemaker 6-4, 4-3 at second singles.
Emory's record drops to 18-6 with the loss. Williams improved to 23-2, as the Ephs will attempt to win their NCAA Division III Women's Tennis record fifth-straight championship on Wednesday, to surpass Emory's record of four from 2003-06.