CARY, N.C. — Williams will get a chance to win their fifth consecutive NCAA DIII championship after putting away a gritty Emory team Tuesday in the nationals semifinals 5-3.
The Ephs (23-2) will face Chicago (23-4) in the championship match Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. It is the first time any team has played in five consecutive women’s title matches. The Maroons ousted Amherst in the other semifinal Tuesday.
Unlike their previous nine consecutive NCAA matches, the Ephs did not sweep all three doubles points against Emory, but they did emerge with a 2-1 lead thanks to a gutty 8-6 win at one doubles by Taylor French and Kara Shoemaker, who at one point trailed 4-2.
The other Ephs’ duo to post a win was Caroline Capute and Rebecca Curran, who breezed to an 8-1 win at three doubles. Kristin Alotta and Kathleen Elkins fell at second doubles, 8-5.
That left the Ephs needing three singles victories to advance to a fifth consecutive NCAA DIII final. Once again, first-year Maria Pylypiv registered the first singles victory, sweeping Lauren Pinsky, 6-0, 6-1. Emory’s Gabby Clark defeated Alotta at first singles, 6-3, 6-1 to make the team score 3-2, but Kathleen Elkins made it 4-2 when she finished off Malavika Padmanabhan at four singles, 6-2, 6-1.
It was 4-3 Williams with both Caroline Capute at five singles and Kara Shoemaker at two singles leading their respective second sets after first set victories. Capute ended the Eagles season by completing a 6-4, 6-3 sweep of Brenna Kelly at five.
Wednesday will be the ninth time in 19 years a Williams women’s tennis team has played for a national title. The Ephs are 6-2 in the previous eight national title match appearances. Head coach Allison Swain is now tied with Julie Greenwood for the most NCAA coaching wins at Williams with 24 (Swain is 24-0).