ST. PETER, Minn. — Third-ranked and top-seeded Emory claimed the team title at the ITA NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor Team Championships for the second consecutive year, edging fourth-ranked and second-seeded Chicago 5-4 in the final.
With the score tied 4-4, junior Laura Callava, in the lineup for the first time this season, won the No. 6 singles match in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, against Chicago’s Aswini Krishnan, clinching the team victory for the Eagles.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead behind a winning effort from freshmen Malavika Padmanabhan and Brenna Kelly at No. 3 doubles, as the duo earned an 8-2 win against Aswini Krishnan and Jennifer Kung.
Chicago caught up quickly as Emory freshman Gabrielle Clark and sophomore Jordan Wylie fell 8-4 to Kendra Higgins and Chrissy Hu, who are ranked first in the Central Region for the Maroons, in at No. 1 doubles while senior Lorne McManigle and junior Zahra Dawson dropped a 9-7 contest to Linden Li and Carmen Vaca Guzman at the No. 2 doubles slot. The Chicago duo is ranked second in the region and helped give UC a 2-1 lead heading into singles.
The Eagles and the Maroons split the first two singles matches, with Emory’s Clark claiming a 6-1, 6-0 win agianst Higgins, the third-ranked singles player in the Central Region, at the No. 1 position, while Wylie lost 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2 singles to Kung, who is regionally ranked second.
McManigle evened the score at 3-3, defeating Vaca Guzman 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-2 in the No. 3 singles match. The teams then split the next two matches, as Padmanabhan defeated Hu 6-4, 6-2 in the No. 5 contest, before Dawson fell to Li 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 at the No. 4 slot, setting up Callava’s finish.
Emory improved to 6-2 overall with the win. The loss was the first of the season for Chicago, which dropped to 6-1.