May 21, 2009

 

Courtesy of Emory Athletics

With a 5-1 win over the fourth-ranked University of Chicago on Thursday, Emory University clinched third place at the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Team Championships in Lawrenceville, GA.

Thursday’s match was a familiar scene for the two University Athletic Association (UAA) teams, who had met twice already during the season.  During the Fab Five Tournament on March 29th, the Eagles defeated the Maroons 5-4 in Atlanta, GA.  Emory also defeated Chicago 5-4 during the semifinals of the conference tournament on April 25th.

Less than a month removed from the last meeting, Emory took a 2-1 during the doubles portion of the match.  For the third time this season, the Eagles’ second doubles team of sophomore Lorne McManigle and freshman Zahra Dawson defeated their Chicago counterparts, winning 8-2 over Jennifer Kung and Vindya Dayananda.  Junior all-Americans Tshema Nash and Sabra Rogers added a point with a 9-7 victory over Kendra Higgins and Chrissy Hu in the first doubles match.  Chicago would answer with an 8-6 win from Carmen VacaGuzman and Tiffany Nguyen over Emory’s Daniela Schechter and Sara Vrabec in the third doubles match.

In singles play, Emory sophomore Lindsay Reidenbach struck the first blow, defeating Chrissy Hu 6-2, 6-0 in the fourth-singles match, bouncing back from her first singles defeat since February 21st in yesterday’s match against Williams College.  Schechter, a freshman, put the Eagles a point away from victory with a 6-0, 6-2 win in the fifth singles match against Chicago’s Vindya Dayananda.  Dawson would clinch the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win in her second singles contest to secure the national third-place finish for Emory.

The Eagles have now finished third in the Nation or better nine times in the program’s history, including seven times in the last nine years. 

Thursday’s match ends team competition for the Eagles in the 2009 season.  The Eagles finished the year with a 22-5 record, the most wins by an Emory team since the 2004 campaign, and the second-best win total in school history.  Chicago dropped to 17-6 on the season with the loss.

Starting on Thursday, McManigle and Dawson will be competing in the NCAA Singles Championships, while Nash and Rogers will take part in the doubles competition.  In addition, McManigle and Dawson are the first-alternate team to the doubles bracket, and would compete if a team were to drop out.  The singles and doubles brackets will be announced by 5:00 PM on Thursday, on the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship website.