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Emory University Claims Men's and Women's Division III Team Titles

May 19, 2003 10:42 AM

This past week was an exciting one for Emory University's tennis program, as both its men's and women's teams took home Division III National Championships. The men won their first ever national championship, defeating defending champion Williams College, 4-0. Emory's women took home their second championship when they trounced Washington and Lee University, 5-1.

After four consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Team Championship, the Emory University Eagles can finally hoist the National Championship trophy above their heads. Head Coach John Browning and his squad defeated two-time defending national champion Williams College 4-0 to earn Emory's first ever NCAA National Championship in men's tennis. The Eagles, who lost to Williams 4-3 in the championship match last year, marched through this year's tournament in convincing fashion as they defeated Trinity (TX) 6-1 in the quarterfinals and Middlebury 4-1 in the semifinals, before dispatching Williams in the finals.

Emory picked up wins at the #1 and #2 positions to earn the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead in the match. Mark Odgers and Alex Jacobs defeated Jeff Kivitz and Andrew Murray 8-4 at #1, but Williams countered with a win at the #3 spot as Scott Mackenzie and Daniel Murray cruised past Dylan Bird and Brad Jaffe 8-2. Emory clinched the doubles point when the #2 team of Jesse Ferlianto and Tyson Ramsay defeated John Haywood and Lex Urban 8-5.
In singles play, Jesse Ferlianto extended the Eagles lead to 2-0 when he knocked off Scott Mackenzie 6-1, 6-1 at the #6 position. Mark Odgers pushed the Eagles closer to the title with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over John Haywood and then Brad Jaffe sealed the win for Emory with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-3 win over Jeff Kivitz. There were three matches in progress when Emory earned the fourth and final point. At #4, Daniel Murray of Williams was leading Alex Jacobs 6-1, 6-6. In the #5 position, Tim White of Williams was leading Dylan Bird 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 and at the #2 spot, Andrew Murray of Williams was leading Tyson Ramsay 6-3, 4-3.

Emory finishes the season with a record of 16-4. The Eagles cruised through the national tournament in convincing fashion surrendering only two points in four matches. Coach John Browning's squad opened the tournament with a 7-0 regional win over Rhodes and then posted 6-1 (over Trinity), 4-1 (over Middlebury) and 4-0 (over Williams) wins in the team championship finals.

The loss to Emory ends an impressive run for Williams. Coach Dave Johnson's squads had won two consecutive national titles and three in the past four years. In addition, the Ephs have now advanced to the national championship match in five of the past six years. Williams completes its season with a record of 16-4.

Top-seeded Emory University won its second NCAA Division III national championship in school history with a 5-1 victory against Washington & Lee University (Va.). The Eagles also won the NCAA crown in 1996 against the same school by the same school.

The team's lone senior, Emily Warburg, clinched the championship point at No. 6 singles in a second-set tie-breaker, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Emory also won at No. 1 and 2 singles and No. 2 and 3 doubles.

Mary Ellen Gordon, ranked No. 1 in the nation, was a 6-4, 6-2 winner in singles against an opponent ranked ninth nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Jolyn Taylor, ranked No. 3 in the nation, was a 6-2, 6-0 winner against an opponent ranked No. 6 by the ITA.

Gordon and Taylor, the No. 2 nationally ranked doubles tandem, were 8-4 losers to the ITA's national No. 1 ranked doubles team. Emory's No. 2 doubles pair of Margaret Moscato and Warburg won 8-4, while its No. 3 doubles duo of Jamie Chan and Shannon Lovett won 8-6.

Emory finishes the season with a 24-1 dual-match record, losing only to a nationally ranked Division II school.

Emory was 19-0 against Division III teams. In those 19 dual matches, only twice did an opponent win more than one point.

Emory was 16-0 against nationally ranked Division III teams and 11-0 against national top-10 Division III.

Emory Coach Amy Smith becomes the fifth person ever to win an NCAA team championship, in any division, as a player and coach. She is the first female to achieve this feat and the second to do so at the same school. Smith played No. 1 singles for Emory when it captured the 1996 national crown.




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