Williams women's tennis falls in national championship
KALAMAZOO, MICH. >> The reign of the Williams College women as NCAA Division III tennis champions came down to the final match against Emory.
But the Eagles got a straight-set win by Michelle Satterfield over Mia Gancayo to complete a 5-4 win to claim the national championship for the second time in three years.
"I'm really proud of the team for how much improvement they showed this year, and I think that showed in our match today against Emory," Williams coach Alison Swain said in a post-match news conference.
It was the first time Emory had beaten Williams in an NCAA championship match in five attempts.
When Williams lost 5-4 to Emory back on March 30, it had marked the first time since 2006 that the Eagles had gotten the best of the Ephs.
On Wednesday, Williams had jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the doubles points, with the No. 1 doubles team of Juli Raventos and Linda Shin beating Anna Fuhr and Madison Gordon 8-2, and the No. 2 tandem of Hannah Atkinson and Julia Cancio beating Bridget Harding and Katarina Su 8-3.
Williams took a 4-3 lead when Raventos scored a 6-1, 6-2 win over Harding at No. 1 singles. Gordon tied things for Emory when she beat Williams' Atkinson 7-5, 6-0 at No. 5 singles.
It all came down to No. 2 singles where Williams' Gancayo played Emory's Satterfield. When the teams met in March, Gancayo had scored a three-set win. On this day, however, it was Satterfield who had the advantage. Her 6-2, 6-3 win gave the Eagles their second national championship in three seasons. It was the fifth consecutive season that Emory had reached the championship match.
Williams finishes the season 22-4 and ranked second in the nation. Emory finishes 28-5 and had the No. 1 ranking.
"I know our team is a little disappointed right now, but they accomplished so much this season and making it this far in the tournament truly deserves to be celebrated," said Swain. "They put everything out on the court today."