Williams takes tennis title

Thursday May 24, 2012

CARY, N.C. -- In the last 12 years only three Division III women’s tennis teams have won national champions. Williams has now done it seven times.

The Ephs won their seventh national title and fifth in a row on Wednesday, beating the University of Chicago 5-2.

"It’s just a testiment to our whole team and I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my career," Williams senior Kristen Alotta said in a release from the school.

The Ephs become the first team to win five NCAA championships. They came into this season tied with Emory at four consecutive national titles.

It was also a rematch of the national semifinals, which Williams won 5-0 last year and 5-4 the year before.

Williams led 2-1 after the doubles, but found itself tied at 2 when Chicago’s Jennifer King dispatched Kara Shoemaker in straight sets.

Alotta, Williams’ No. 1 singles player, gave the Ephs the lead when she handled Kendra Higgins 6-4, 6-2.

"Kendra came out firing today, but I was albe to dig in and get it to 3-2 in the first set, and from there play really good tennis," Alotta said. "I had never beaten her before, so today was a good day to accomplish that."

Kathleen Elkins won her 28th match for the Ephs with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Linden Li.

Williams freshman Maria Pylpiv was pushed in each of her two sets, but clinched the national title with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Kelsey McGillis.

For Williams coach Alison Swain, the championship increased her tournament record at Williams to 25-0.


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