Williams women's tennis duo wins NCAA title

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KALAMAZOO, MICH. >> Twelve months ago, Juli Raventos and Linda Shin won the NCAA Division III women's doubles championship. On Saturday, the Eph duo was in a position to do that again.

Raventos and Shin matched up with Katie Kousman and Caroline Ward of Claremont Mudd Scripps for the second consecutive year. For the second time, the championship match went to three sets, and for the second time, Raventos and Shin are NCAA champs.

The Williams tandem won their second NCAA championship in as many seasons by beating Kousman and Ward 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. They are the only Ephs to win an individual doubles title since Julie Greenwood and Porter Harris won the title back in 1996.

Last year, the Williams duo of Raventos and Shin lost a second-set tiebreaker to Kousman and Ward before coming on to win 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, to claim the 2015 NCAA championship.

And it was a nice bounce-back win Saturday for Raventos, who dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision to Eudice Chong of Wesleyan in the women's singles championship.

The doubles day started with the semifinal round. Kuosman and Ward made quick work of Wesleyan's Chong and Aashli Budhiraja 6-0, 6-2.

The Williams duo saw a familiar team on the other side of the net in Tiffany Cheng and Joulia Likhanskala of Bowdoin. Twice this year, Raventos and Shin faced Cheng and Likhanskala and won. The most recent win came in the NESCAC tournament where Raventos and Shin won 8-2.

This match turned out to be a three setter and was tied after two But Raventos and Shin came back in the third set to score a 7-5, 0-6, 6-3 win and advance to the final against another familiar foe.

Not only did Raventos and Shin beat Kuosman and Ward in last year's championship, but they scored an 8-5 win over the Claremont Mudd Scripps tandem during Williams' 7-2 victory in the Fab Five Tournament at Emory University back in March.

In singles, Chong got some revenge on Raventos by scoring a straight-set win to claim her second consecutive NCAA singles title.

Raventos had beaten Chong twice this season.

In the final match, Chong broke Raventos' serve to claim the first set. In the second set, the Eph standout won the first two games. The two players took turns breaking serve, but Chong held serve to win the second set and the match.


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