The Emory University Women's Tennis team saw its bid for the national championship come to an end Wednesday night, falling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 5-4, in the NCAA Division III championship match played at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, California. The Eagles conclude their season with a 17-5 record while the Athenas upped their record to 29-2.
Emory led 2-1 after doubles play, notching wins at first and second doubles. Senior Bridget Harding and freshman Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico began the match with a convincing 8-1 win on court one. The victory gave the duo 32 on the season, tying the program's single season record. The win also marked the 111th win of Harding's doubles career, moving her into a tie for first place with Gabrielle Clark for the most all-time.
After CMS tied the match at 1-1 on court three with an 8-3 win over junior Daniela Lopez and freshman Katie Chang, senior Anna Fuhr and freshman Stephanie Taylor put the Eagles back in front with the win at second doubles. The Emory duo withheld a furious rally by CMS' Allen and Cox as the Athenas notched four straight points to pull within one at 7-6 but Fuhr and Taylor was able to close out the set for the two-point win.
Singles play went in favor of the host Athenas as CMS claimed four of the six matches. After seeing Claremont-Mudd-Scripps tie the match at two with a three set win over Fuhr at fourth singles (6-1, 3-6, 6-2), Gonzalez-Rico gave Emory the lead back with a straight set win at first singles, 7-5, 6-2. The win gave her 31 on the campaign, moving her into sole possession of second place on Emory all-time single season list.
Taylor battled back in the second set at sixth singles to force a tiebreaker but came out on the other side of the 6-0, 7-6 (6) decision as CMS again tied the score. Lopez regained the advantage as she came through with a 7-5, 6-4 win on court four, pushing the Eagles to the 4-3 lead.
However, the Athenas closed out the match with 6-2, 7-6 (2) and 6-2, 6-3 wins over Harding and freshman Defne Olcay at second and fifth singles to seal CMS' first-ever national championship.
Harding, Gonzalez-Rico and Lopez will continue their seasons this week as the trio will represent the Eagles in the NCAA Individual Championships, beginning Thursday, May 24th, with the opening rounds of the singles and doubles draws. For more information regarding the individual championships, please click here.
#3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 5, #1 Emory University 4
1. Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (EUW) def. Nicole Tan (CMSW) 7-5, 6-2
2. Catherine Allen (CMSW) def. Bridget Harding (EUW) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
3. Daniela Lopez (EUW) def. Lindsay Brown (CMSW) 7-5, 6-4
4. Kyla Scott (CMSW) def. Anna Fuhr (EUW) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
5. Rebecca Berger (CMSW) def. Defne Olcay (EUW) 6-2, 6-3
6. Caroline Cox (CMSW) def. Stephanie Taylor (EUW) 6-0, 7-6 (8-6)
1. Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico/Bridget Harding (EUW) def. Lindsay Brown/Nicole Tan (CMSW) 8-1
2. Anna Fuhr/Stephanie Taylor (EUW) def. Catherine Allen/Caroline Cox (CMSW) 8-6
3. Juliette Martin/Kyla Scott (CMSW) def. Katie Chang/Daniela Lopez (EUW) 8-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,1,6,3,2,5)