ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Third-ranked Emory claimed its 23rd conference title in 24 seasons with a 5-2 victory against fourth-ranked Chicago in the University Athletic Association (UAA) championship match.
The contest was a rematch of last year’s UAA championship match, when Chicago bested the Eagles 5-3 to become the first team other than Emory to win the conference’s women tennis title. The two teams met earlier in the season as well, with Emory edging Chicago by a 5-4 score to win the ITA Indoor Championships.
On Sunday, the Eagles and the Maroons split the first two doubles matches with Emory’s Brenna Kelly and Malavika Padmanabhan defeating Aswini Krishnan and Tiffany Nguyen 8-3 at No. 3 doubles, and Gabrielle Clark and Lorne McManigle falling to Kendra Higgins and Jennifer Kung 8-1 in No. 1 doubles.
Zahra Dawson and Jordan Wylie claimed an 8-3 win against Carmen Vaca Guzman and Linden Li in the second doubles match to end doubles play with a 1-0 team lead.
In singles play, Dawson claimed a quick 6-4, 6-2 win against Li in the No. 4 singles match, and Padmanabhan followed shortly after with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles against Kirshnan, putting the team a point away from victory. Clark would clinch the championship for Emory at the No. 1 slot, defeating Higgins in straight sets 6-2, 6-3, giving the Eagles their fifth and deciding win.
After the team outcome was already decided, Wylie fell to Kung 6-7, 6-2, 10-4 in No. 2 singles. McManigle was leading Vaca Guzman 7-5, 3-2 at the No. 3 position and Lindsay Reidenbach was up 6-3, 3-2 against Shanelle Trail at No. 6 singles, but the matches were left unfinished.
The women’s tennis team championship was the 10th of the year among all Emory teams, surpassing the nine that Emory squads won in 2000-01 for the most in the program’s history. Emory women’s tennis joined the baseball, golf, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, softball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball teams as UAA championship winners during the 2010-11 year.
Emory improved to 19-4 on the season with the victory, the team’s 11th in 12 matches against ranked NCAA Division III opponents this season, and its third win in four matches against team ranked in the top 5.
Chicago fell to 17-3 on the season with the loss, with two of their three defeats this season coming against Emory.