Amherst dethrones Williams, will play Emory in final
CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The second-ranked Amherst Jeffs denied the Williams Ephs a women's record seventh consecutive NCAA championship with a hard-fought 5-4 semifinals victory Tuesday night at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center.
Amherst (22-3) meets the top-ranked Emory Eagles for the title at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday. Emory (27-2) defeated the No. 4 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 5-1 in the other semifinal matchup. Johns Hopkins (24-2) takes on No. 3 Williams (22-3) for third place at 5 p.m.
|DIII WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP|
|Individuals Championship Recap|
|Hill: Amherst's Devlin wins fourth doubles title of career|
|Singles: Emory's Clark cruises to singles crown|
|Quarterfinal and Semifinal Recap|
|Hill: Ward makes return trip to doubles championship|
|Day 1 Recap|
|Hill: Emory's Clark returns strong in senior year|
|Championship Recap Gallery|
|Hill: Emory soars to national championship|
|Emory brings home national crown|
|Hill: Amherst battles, will face Emory for championship|
|Semis: Amherst dethrones defending champ Williams|
|Semis: Emory returns to final, stays unbeaten vs. DIII|
|Hill: Johns Hopkins does enough to hold on|
|Quarters: Williams eases by Bowdoin 5-0|
|Quarters: Law, Johns Hopkins stymies CMS' rally|
|Quarters: Amherst reaches sixth semifinal in a row|
|Quarters: Emory breezes by Washington (Mo.)|
|Hill: Williams looks for seventh title in a row|
|Brackets: Interactive Printable|
|Individual Brackets: Singles Doubles|
Linda Shin of Williams won the first set 7-6, and Gabby Devlin of Amherst evened it by winning the second set 6-3. Devlin prevailed in the third stanza tiebreaker 9-7, with a large contingent focused on the proceedings.
"Terrifying," said Devlin with a smile, when asked what it was like to have the entire stadium watching. "I kept looking at the scoreboard, and I knew it was going to play out. But the support of my teammates, and the men's team (which rallied from an 0-3 deficit to beat Trinity 5-3 in the semifinals) was amazing."
Earlier this month, Amherst was a 5-1 winner over Williams at the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship at Brunswick, Maine;
Last year, Williams defeated Emory 5-2 in the championship match at Kalamazoo, Mich. The Ephs tied an NCAA record -- held by Stanford -- for most consecutive championships. Amherst won third place by shutting out Claremont-M-S (this year's host) by a score of 5-0.
Emory is the holder of five national championships, including four in a row from 2003-2006. Amherst claimed the national crown in 1999.
The Eagles won two of three doubles matches in the semis. Nos. 4 and 6 singles went to Emory, followed by the clinching No. 1 line won by Gabrielle Clark 6-3, 6-1 over Amanda Austi.
"It felt awesome to clinch," said Clark, who won the NCAA singles title in 2012, becoming the first African-American woman to take the coveted championship. "I was really proud of my teammates in stepping up. Everyone fights. It's [the championship match], it's not who's the No. 1 seed. It's about who shows up that day."