• 2017-18 Record: 17-5
  • 7-time National Champions
  • 5 NCAA Singles Titles
  • 4 NCAA Doubles Titles
  • 39 Individual All-Americans

2017-18 Emory Women's Tennis Season Recap

2017-18 Emory Women's Tennis Season Recap

Led by a solid returning core and the infusion of a talented group of newcomers, the Emory University Women's Tennis reached the NCAA Division III Championship match for the sixth consecutive season and 13th time in program history.

The Eagles made quick work of their first three opponents of the NCAA tournament, dropping just one match against Hanover College (5-0), Sewanee (5-0) and the University of Chicago (5-1) to advance to their 10th straight national semifinals and 19th overall.

In the semifinals, Emory battled No. 4 ranked Middlebury in a thrilling match, ultimately being decided at first singles. After the Panthers erased a 4-2 deficit to tie the match, freshman Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico pulled out the 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 victory at the first position to send the Eagles onto the championship against No. 3 ranked and host institution of the 2018 NCAA championships, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

The title match, a rematch of a hotly contested regular season matchup on March 25th in which Emory came away with a 5-4 decision, lived up to the billing of a second meeting but unfortunately for the Eagles, the host Athenas earned the 5-4 win the second time around to win the national title. CMS claimed four of the six singles points to erase a 2-1 Emory lead after doubles to seal the match.

The loss snapped an 11-match win streak for the Eagles, ending their season with a 17-5 overall record including a 17-1 record versus non-Division I opponents.

Following the national championship match, Emory sent three players to the NCAA Division III Individual Championships: Gonzalez-Rico, senior Bridget Harding and junior Daniela Lopez. In the doubles draw, Harding and Gonzalez-Rico advanced to the national semifinals with straight set wins over tandems from Tufts and MIT before being upended by Wesleyan in straight sets in the semifinals. In the singles competition, Lopez highlighted the Emory trio by reaching the Round of 16 to earn the first All-America award of her career.

The win against Tufts in the first round of NCAA doubles competition was a milestone victory in the stellar career of Harding, who surpassed Gabrielle Clark's program record of most career doubles wins with the triumph over the Jumbos. Harding finished her career with 113 doubles wins and was one of three players in program history to record at least 100 singles and doubles wins as she finished third all-time on the all-time singles wins list with 106 victories.

A month earlier, Emory captured its sixth consecutive University Athletic Association title and 29th overall in program history. The Eagles blanked the University of Rochester and Washington University, both by 9-0 margins, in the opening rounds before handling the University of Chicago, 7-2, in the championship match. Gonzalez-Rico was tabbed as the tournament's Most Valuable Player and was joined on the UAA All-Tournament team by Lopez (No. 3 Singles), Harding (No. 1 Doubles), freshman Defne Olcay (No. 5 Singles), and freshman Stephanie Taylor and senior Anna Fuhr (No. 2 Doubles).

Gonzalez-Rico added conference hardware as she was named the UAA's Rookie of the Year and was selected to the conference's First Team for both singles and doubles. Harding garnered conference recognition as well as she was named the Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and earned spots on the First Team for both singles and doubles. Lopez (No. 3 Singles), Fuhr (No. 2 Doubles) and Taylor (No. 2 Doubles) added Second Team honors for the Eagles.

Head Coach Amy Bryant, Assistant Coach Barbora Krtickova and Volunteer Coach Kevin Ye were recognized by the UAA as well, being named the Coaching Staff of the Year, marking the 13th time in her career Bryant and her staff has earned the award.

To go along with the UAA Championship, the Eagles were crowned the 2018 ITA Division III National Indoor champions in February, marking their second straight indoor team title and fourth overall. Emory topped Sewanee, 9-0, in the first round before besting fellow UAA member Carnegie Mellon University, 6-3, in the semifinals. The Eagles met Pomona-Pitzer in the championship match for the second straight year and easily disposed the Sagehens, 5-0, to win the title.

In addition to her UAA Rookie of the Year and UAA Tournament MVP awards, Gonzalez-Rico was named the ITA National Division III and ITA Atlantic South Regional Rookie of the Year as she turned in one of the more dominating rookie seasons in team history. The Pinecrest, Florida native set the freshman team record with 31 singles wins (2nd most all-time) and established the program record with Harding for most doubles wins in a single season with 34. She began the year winning the ITA Atlantic South Regional Singles and Doubles titles and advancing to the Division III championship match in both disciplines before posting 16-3 and 20-2 marks in singles and doubles during dual matches in the spring.

Gonzalez-Rico led a contingent of three Eagles in the final national Division III singles rankings, coming in at the No. 2 position. Harding also earned a spot in the top-10 at No. 8 and Lopez checked in at No. 26. In the final national doubles rankings of the year, Gonzalez-Rico and Harding were slotted at the No. 3 spot with Taylor and Fuhr positioned 18th.

The Eagles see the departures of Harding and Fuhr with the end of the 2018 season but with a strong returning group and one of the top incoming recruiting classes in Division III, Emory looks primed to make another deep NCAA tournament run in 2018-19.


The Eagles earned the following honors during the 2017-18 season:

All-America (Intercollegiate Tennis Association)

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

Singles, Doubles

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Singles, Doubles

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

Singles

 

NCAA Championships Participant

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

Singles (Round of 32), Doubles (Semifinals)

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Singles (Round of 32), Doubles (Semifinals)

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

Singles (Round of 16)

 

ITA Division III National Rookie of the Year

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

University Athletic Association Player of the Year

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

 

University Athletic Association Rookie of the Year

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

UAA Coaching Staff of the Year

Amy Bryant & Barbara Krtickova

 

All-UAA

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

First Team (No. 1 Singles & No. 1 Doubles)

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

First Team (No. 1 Singles & No. 1 Doubles)

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

Second Team (No. 3 Singles)

Stephanie Taylor

Fort Lauderdale, FL (Pine Crest School)

Second Team (No. 2 Doubles)

Anna Fuhr

Richmond, VA (Steward)

Second Team (No. 2 Doubles); Honorable Mention (No. 4 Singles)

 

UAA Tournament Most Valuable Player

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

All-UAA Tournament Team

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

No. 1 Singles; No. 1 Doubles

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

No. 3 Singles

Defne Olcay

Istanbul, Turkey (Enka Okullari)

No. 5 Singles

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

No. 1 Doubles

Anna Fuhr

Richmond, VA (Steward)

No. 2 Doubles

Stephanie Taylor

Fort Lauderdale, FL (Pine Crest School)

No. 2 Doubles

 

ITA Atlantic South Regional Senior of the Year

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

 

ITA Atlantic South Regional Rookie of the Year

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

ITA Atlantic South Regional Player to Watch

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

 

ITA Fall South Regional Champion

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Singles & Doubles

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

Doubles

 

UAA Athlete of the Week

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Sept. 25, Oct. 9, Oct. 17, March 26, May 29

Bridget Harding

Northport, NY (Northport)

Sept. 25, Oct. 9, March 5, April 9, May 29

Katie Chang

Coto de Caza, CA (Santa Margarita Catholic)

Oct. 30

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

April 2

Stephanie Taylor

Fort Lauderdale, FL (Pine Crest School)

May 14