ATLANTA -- Emory, ranked second in Division III, earned a statement win on Thursday afternoon, defeating previously unbeaten Columbus State, the fifth-ranked NCAA Division II squad, 5-4 at the Woodruff Physical Education Center.
Emory now stands at a perfect 6-0 to open the 2014 spring season with the victory on Thursday afternoon. Columbus State dropped to 5-1 with the loss.
At one point in doubles play, Emory led on all three courts. However, Columbus State was able to battle back for victories on two of the courts, winning 8-6 at first doubles and 8-4 at second doubles. At third doubles, Emory's pairing of senior Brenna Kelly and freshman Michelle Satterfield were able to salvage a point, holding on for an 8-3 win against their counterparts.
Emory won the first singles point of the day, with Satterfield claiming a perfect 6-0, 6-0 win at fourth singles against Saravinder Pannu. Also earning wins in consecutive sets were sophomore Beatrice Rosen at third singles against Camila Tobar 6-2, 6-1 and sophomore Madison Gordon at sixth singles against Laura Chapman 6-3, 6-3. At second singles, Emory junior Rebecca Siegler suffered a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Beatriz Leon.
With Emory leading 4-3 in the team score, the remaining two singles matches would each go into a third set. Emory freshman Melissa Goodman would drop a hard-fought 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 decision to Olivera Jokic at fifth singles, but senior Gabrielle Clark would pull out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win against Paola Cigui in the first singles match to secure the team win for the Eagles.
Clark's win to clinch the match was made even more impressive by the fact that it came against Cigui, the second-ranked player in Division II to start the spring season. Clark now has 85 career singles victories, one behind former Eagle Zahra Dawson for the second-most in the program's history.