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Emory Athletics | May 21, 2014

DIII WTEN: Emory tops Hopkins to return to national final

CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Emory, ranked first in Division III, will play for the national championship on Wednesday, earning a spot in the title match after defeating fourth-ranked Johns Hopkins 5-1 on Tuesday afternoon at the 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championships.

The Eagles will now advance for the NCAA championship match for the ninth time in the program's history, and for the second consecutive year. Emory will be aiming for its sixth National Championship, after winning titles in 1996, 2003, '04, '05 and '06.

In Wednesday's championship match, the Eagles will take on second-ranked Amherst, which defeated third-ranked Williams 5-4 in the other semifinal on Tuesday. Emory and Amherst have met in the national championship match once before, with the Eagles coming away with a 5-0 triumph to win the NCAA title in 2004. The Eagles are 13-4 all-time against Amherst, including a 7-2 record in NCAA Tournament meetings. Emory has won its past two matches against the Jeffs, including a 5-4 win in the semifinals at last year's NCAA championships, and an 8-1 win earlier this season.

Tuesday's semifinal match between the Eagles and the Blue Jays was a rematch from earlier in the season, when Emory defeated Johns Hopkins 7-2 at the Woodruff P.E. Center in Atlanta on April 5th. The loss was the only one of the season for Hopkins, heading into Tuesday's match.

Emory started strong in doubles, with the top pairing of senior Gabrielle Clark and freshman Michelle Satterfield winning 8-4 against Hopkins' Hailey Hogan and Sydney Lehman.  The Blue Jays evened the match with an 8-4 win at second doubles from Elaine Baik and Mikey Barthelmass against Emory sophomore Beatrice Rosen and junior Rebecca Siegler. However, Emory would end doubles with a 2-1 advantage in the team score after senior Brenna Kelly and freshman Katarina Su claimed an 8-2 victory against Amanda Austi and Ashnaa Rao at third doubles.

Su was the first to claim a singles victory for Emory, defeating Jody Law in straight sets at sixth singles, 6-1, 6-2, to earn her 25th consecutive singles win, improving to 27-1 overall for the year, including a 19-0 mark in the spring. Freshman Melissa Goodman put the Eagles a win away from the finals with a 6-2, 6-4 against Hogan at fourth singles, and Clark completed the team win with a 6-3, 6-1 against Austi at first singles.

At the time play was stopped, Emory sophomore Madison Gordon led Baik 6-2, 2-2 at fifth singles, while Satterfield was locked in a 6-6 tie in the first set with Lehman at second singles, and Rosen trailed Rao 3-6, 5-4 at third singles.

Emory raised record to 27-2, the best in the history of the program, including a perfect 19-0 mark against Division III opposition. Hopkins ended its season with a 24-2 record, with both losses coming to the Eagles.