The No.4-ranked Emory women’s tennis team competed in the Fab Seven Tournament this past weekend. The Eagles finished the tournament with a 2-1 record and improved their overall season record to 8 -3.
“I think they performed pretty well. I think we are starting to see improvements in all the things we are working on, and that is nice,” Head Coach Amy Bryant said. “We really came together well as a team. It is nice to see the camaraderie and team dynamic move in the right direction. Overall, I was very pleased with the weekend.”
In the opening match of the Fab Seven Tournament on Friday, Emory lost a close match to Amherst College (Mass.) 5-4.
The match came down to the third set of the final singles contest. The loss was just the third on the season for Emory and their first to a Division III team.
Battling back from an early doubles deficit, Emory tied the match 3-3 with victories from junior Gabrielle Clark in the first singles spot and freshman Beatrice Rosen at third singles.
Clark won 6-2, 7-5 while Rosen beat her opponent 6-3, 6-1.
In fifth singles, freshman Madison Gordon lost 6-3, 7-6 (6), giving Amherst the lead, but senior Jordan Wylie struck back with a come from behind win 6-7 (2), 7-5, 6-4 win. Junior Brenna Kelly lost a close three set match against Amherst’s Gabby Devlin in three sets 5-7, 7-6 (3) 6-4.
“Amherst truly could’ve gone either way. We are ready to fight and get the win when we play them at nationals,” Rosen said. “I know we definitely have the capability to pull through and come out with the win when we see them at Nationals in a few months.”
On Saturday, rain forced play to be moved to the indoor courts at the Woodruff P.E. Center (WoodPEC), but the Eagles did not skip a beat in the match.
They beat No.12-ranked Washington University at St. Louis (Mo.).
Emory won every doubles contest against its conference rival, with Clark and freshman Annette Sullivan winning first doubles 8-4, Wylie and Gordon earning an 8-4 victory in second doubles, and Kelly and freshman Emma Taylor rounding out the sweep by winning 8-2 in third doubles. This is the fifth time this season that Emory has swept the doubles matches in a dual match.
The Eagles then needed only two wins to claim a triumph.
Clark scratched the first victory with a 6-0, 6-3 in first singles, and Kelly clinched the team victory with 7-5, 6-4 success.
Emory capped off the tournament by upsetting top ranked Johns Hopkins University (Md.) 6-3.The Eagles claimed a key edge after doubles play by winning two of the three matches. Clark and Sullivan came from behind to win 8-6 in first doubles, while Wylie and Gordon defeated their opponents 8-4 in second doubles. Kelly and Taylor were just edged in their match, losing in third doubles, 9-7.
“I performed well this weekend,” Clark said. “My doubles partner Annette Sullivan and I played really well together … and I’m excited for us to keep getting better and playing other competitors.”
In first singles, Clark picked up a quick point winning 6-0, 6-1 to increase Emory’s lead to 3-1. Freshman Marissa Levine bested her opponent in second singles 7-6 (2), 6-4.
Rosen gave Emory the team victory by winning in third singles 6-2, 6-3.
Emory gained its sixth point from a Gordon’s win 6-1, 6-3 in sixth singles.
Clark was very pleased with her team’s ability to come back and win.
“It felt great to come back and win the next two days,” Clark said. “It is important that we gain experience playing multiple days in a row and well because we will need the endurance come Nationals.”
After resting this upcoming week, the Eagles will hit the road for a three-day trip to New England where they will face No. 7-ranked Middlebury College (Vt.), No.10-ranked Bowdoin (Maine) and No. 3-ranked Williams College (Mass.) on April 3, 4 and 5.
“Emotionally and physically, we are just beat up,” Bryant said. “We are definitely going to be practicing but taking it easy at the same time. It is a delicate balance, but we will be ready for New England.”
– By Alexander Del Re
Photo by Emily Lin