CLAREMONT, Calif. --The number seven proved to be unlucky for the Williams College women's tennis team.
The Ephs came to the west coast, seeking their seventh consecutive NCAA Division III championship. Unfortunately for Williams, archrival Amherst had different ideas and knocked the Ephs out in the semifinals.
The contest was tied at 4, and came down to the final match of the day. It was the No. 2 singles match between Williams' Linda Shin and Amherst's Gabby Devlin.
Shin won the first set in a tiebreaker, but dropped the final two sets to Devlin. The third set win for Devlin came after a 9-7 tiebreaker and the scores were 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-6 (9-7). Devlin was 3-0 against three different Williams players in each of those three matches.
Williams had dug itself quite a hole as it dropped all three doubles matches to go down 3-0.
The Ephs' Rebecca Curran got the first point when she beat Zoe Pangalos 6-3, 6-0. It was the first of four consecutive wins for Williams.
Amherst's Sarah Monteagudo tied the match with a straight-set win over Monica Pastor at No. 6 singles. That set the stage for the dramatic finale.
Williams might have been the defending champion, but this was not an upset. The Lord Jeffs lost to the Ephs last October, but have now beaten their rivals three times in the last month.
Amherst won a regular-season match on April 19, on in the NESCAC finals on May 4, and then defeated Williams on Tuesday night.
Williams advanced to the semifinals with a decisive 5-0 win over Bowdoin, another NESCAC rival.
Amherst, meanwhile, beat Carnegie-Mellon 5-1 in the quarterfinals. The Lord Jeffs will play Emory today in the championship match. Emory entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the ITA national Division III rankings, while Amherst was second and Williams was third.
Williams will play Johns Hopkins, losers to Emory in the semifinals, today at 5 p.m. PDT.