The No. 2-ranked Emory men's tennis team captured the program's fourth-ever national title Wednesday evening, defeating No. 3-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the finals of the NCAA DIII championships. The Eagles won their 14th straight match and closed out their season at 22-4 following a 5-2 victory over the Stags who finished at 32-4. The match was played at the Strang-Voges Tennis Center on the campus of The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
RELATED: Final 2017 team bracket and results
Emory jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead after sweeping the doubles portion of the competition. The Eagles' No. 2 team of junior Max Renke and Adrien Bouchet pocketed the first point of the match with an 8-6 decision over Jake Berber and Glenn Hull. With the score tied at 6-6, Renke and Bouchet broke the Stags' serve to take a one-game lead before holding serve to post their 17th win of the campaign against eight defeats. Shortly after, the No. 3 tandem of junior David Omsky and sophomore Jonathan Jemison dispatched Jake Williams and Julian Gordy, 8-1, upping their season slate to 23-7 while providing Emory with a 2-0 advantage. At first doubles, junior Scott Rubinstein and sophomore James Spaulding won the final three games against Nikolai Parodi and Daniel Morkovine, breaking the Stags' duo twice, in coming away with an 8-6 victory, which raised their record to 20-10 on the year.
CMS got on the board at six singles when Alex Brenner manufactured a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Rubinstein. The Eagles inched closer to the national crown when Jemison's 7-6, 6-2 decision over Hull at No. 2 gave them a 4-1 cushion. The win was Jemison's ninth straight and improved his overall singles mark to 26-5, 21-4 in the spring. The Stags stayed alive and drew to within two points when Nikolai Parodi topped Aman Manji at No. 1 singles, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, ending his 11-match win streak. With the three remaining singles matches all in third sets, Emory finally claimed the title when Bouchet clawed his way to a 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 verdict over Morkovine at No. 3, breaking at 5-5 and then holding. It was Bouchet's 11th consecutive win and raised his overall record to 19-6, 16-5 in the spring.
This year's squad joins the 2003, 2006 and 2012 Emory teams to win national titles.
It is the third national championship won by Emory athletic teams during the 2016-17 school year (men's swimming and diving & women's swimming & diving) and the 23rd overall for the department.
With the team portion of the championships completed, the Eagles will have four representatives in the singles and doubles championships. Manji, the No. 2 seed in the 32-player field, will battle Bowdoin College's Luke Tercek in a first round match on Thursday morning, while Jemison matches up against No. 7 seed Kai Yeun Leung of Skidmore College. Rubinstein and Spaulding will compete in doubles as the No. 3 seed out of 16 tandems and meet Skidmore's Leung and John Wynne on Thursday afternoon.