AMHERST, Mass. -- Williams avoided a third consecutive defeat to No. 1 Amherst this year, earning a 5-2 victory to win the 2013 NESCAC championship. The Ephs improved to 18-4, while the Lord Jeffs dropped their first match to a Division III opponent this season. Their record stands at 17-2.

Williams took a 2-1 lead after the doubles session. The No. 2 tandem of junior Kathleen Elkins and sophomore Maria Pylypiv won 8-3, but Amherst's No. 3 team quickly evened the score with its 8-2 defeat of Williams' Nancy Worley and Veranika Li. In a seesaw affair, the Ephs' No. 1 team of Kara Shoemaker and Rebecca Curran needed a tiebreak to take down Amherst's Jordan Brewer and Gabby Devlin.

In singles play, the Lord Jeffs evened the tally when Zoe Pangalos defeated Williams freshman Alex Stone in straight sets. Shoemaker was next off the court, notching a straight-set victory of her own to give the Ephs the lead again. Williams closed out its archrival when Elkins and Worley defeated Jen Newman and Caroline Richman within moments of each other. 

By virtue of its conference championship, Williams earned an automatic berth to the upcoming NCAA tournament. Amherst will hope for an at-large berth to the tournament when the field gets announced Monday night.