A pair of D-III national titles for Ephs tennis


Williams College won two national championships in one day Wednesday.

Just a matter of hours after the Eph women won their sixth consecutive Division III title, the Williams men followed suit with a 5-2 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for their first national title since 2002.

Since 2008, the view hasn't changed for the Williams women. The Ephs defeated Emory University 5-2 in Wednesday afternoon's title match. Williams (23-4) rallied with four singles wins after losing two of three doubles matches.

Women's coach Alison Swain, in her sixth year at the helm after winning a championship as team captain in 2001, has never experienced an NCAA tournament loss as Ephs coach.

"What impresses me about these women is that, sometimes, you don't learn how to win a championship without losing," Swain said. "It impresses me that, year after year, they can bring that desire and fearlessness to the court, having never experienced the heartache of losing in the NCAA tournament."

Kathleen Elkins, Rebecca Curran, Nancy Worley and Maria Pylypiv won their singles matches, with Curran, a sophomore, beating Emory's Jordan Wylie 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-0. Curran trailed 3-0 in the second set before taking over and clinching yet another Williams national title.

"The thing that never left Rebecca throughout that match was a sense of determination," Swain said. "I think that focus, and the fact that she never wavered mentally, allowed her to take advantage of the opportunities that came around."

Williams' latest championship ties an NCAA record, as Stanford's women also won six in a row from 1986-91.

Senior Worley (31-4) started Williams' singles comeback with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Marissa Levine. With a 6-1, 6-3 win over Emory's Beatrice Rosen, Williams' Elkins improved to 21-0 this season in singles.

Williams' men (23-3) took two of the three doubles matches Wednesday, with each school winning a match via tiebreaker. The Ephs then got straight-set singles wins from Matt Micheli, Felix Sun and Bryan Chow to clinch the crown. Chow's 6-0, 6-0 win over Alex Johnson was the final win Williams needed.

This is the school's fourth national title in men's tennis, in seven appearances since 1998.

Both the men's and women's matches were held indoors at Kalamazoo College due to rain making the outdoor courts unplayable.


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