Matching up against No. 16 Sewanee: The University of the South (Tenn.) April 7, Emory’s No. 1-ranked women’s tennis team took care of business on a blustery day outside the WoodPEC, dispatching the Tigers 9-0. That win brought the Eagles’ season record to 7-4, with a perfect 5-0 record against their NCAA Division III opponents.
The score line was all Emory despite the challenges faced by the Eagles. After a long weekend on the road that involved contests against Coastal Carolina University (S.C.) April 1 and Charleston Southern University (S.C.) April 2, the Eagles had reduced their practice schedule prior to the match against Sewanee to recover. Adding in Friday’s gusty weather, conditions began to look like the perfect storm.
“Wind makes things a bit more challenging, but we appreciate any kind of obstacle that gets in our way because whenever we have an obstacle it makes us stronger,” Head Coach Amy Bryant said. “We were able to power through that and play well regardless.”
In first singles, junior co-captain Bridget Harding won in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6 (4) over Sewanee junior Clementina Davila. A close win such as this would normally satisfy the victor, but Harding was reluctant to express pride in her performance. The team’s brief hiatus off the court made it difficult to jump right back into form, preventing Harding from performing at the level she expected.
“Anything can happen on any day, and it was just one of those days where things didn’t always go my way,” Harding said.
Following Harding’s lead, senior co-captain Michelle Satterfield, sophomore Daniela Lopez, seniors Paula Castro and Michelle DeMeo and freshman Elaine Vernoff rounded out singles play with victories in No. 2 through No. 6, respectively.
“It was good for us as a team [to perform well] even though things weren’t always going for us,” Harding said. “As a team we always want to make sure that we are out there fighting together and making sure it is a team effort.”
Both Harding and Bryant noted DeMeo’s performance, who dominated in fifth singles against Sewanee sophomore Haley Tucker, 6-3, 6-2.
“Michelle DeMeo played a great match,” Harding said. “She hadn’t been in the singles lineup in a few matches, so that was a big day for her to step up for us and she came away with a solid win.”
The Eagles prevailed in the three doubles matches as well to claim a 9-0 sweep. Despite the lopsided score, Bryant praised Sewanee’s approach to the match.
“They were really smart in how they played us,” Bryant said. “They took advantage of us maybe not adapting as well to the wind and maybe not adapting as much to a few days off.”
The impressive victory boosts the Eagles’ confidence as they prepare for the season’s next test, a trip to Massachusetts for matches against Tufts University (Mass.) April 14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology April 15 and Wesleyan University (Conn.) April 16.