The men’s and women’s tennis teams made a statement this past Saturday. Each team upset a higher ranked team from Johns Hopkins University (Md.).
The men’s team, which is currently ranked seventh nationally, beat the fifth ranked men from Johns Hopkins, winning seven out of nine matches. The win raised the Eagles’ record to 13-5 on the season.
The third ranked women’s team beat the Blue Jays, who were previously undefeated and ranked first nationally.
The women’s team has beaten every Division III team they have faced this season on their way to a 15-2 record. The women also won seven of the nine matches played.
The No. 1 men’s doubles team for Emory consisted of juniors Alex Ruderman and Ian Wagner, who convincingly beat their opponents 8-2. Johns Hopkins won the other two doubles events to take a 2-1 lead into the singles competition, in which the men’s team swept all six matches.
Ruderman, Emory’s No. 1 singles player, beat Johns Hopkins’ Michael Buxbaum in two tightly contested sets, 6-4, 7-6.
Sophomore Rafe Mosetick and Wagner, playing in the three and four singles positions, dispatched with their opposition with relative ease. Wagner continued his stellar singles record this season, as he has now lost only three of his 18 singles matches, a record matched by Ruderman.
Emory’s victory was confirmed by sophomore Will Adams’ defeat of Erik Lim, 7-6, 6-4.
In both two and five singles, Emory players fought back from early deficits to secure the singles sweep. Junior Eric Halpern dropped the first set 4-6, but simply needed time to warm up, as he would proceed to comfortably win the final two sets 6-1, 6-3.
Senior Nicholas Szczurek also experienced a tough opening set, falling behind 2-6 initially, before rallying to beat his opponent, winning the following sets 6-4, 6-2.
The women’s squad beat Johns Hopkins earlier in the day by the same 7-2 margin as the men’s team, losing one singles match and one doubles match.
Defeating the country’s highest ranked team is nothing new for the Emory women, as they are 3-0 in their last three matches against number one teams, beating Johns Hopkins in March 2013 and Amherst (Mass.) in May 2013. The No. 1 doubles team of senior Gabrielle Clark and freshman Michelle Satterfield, playing together for the first time, defeated the third-ranked pairing in the region 8-5.
Clark has now won 98 career doubles matches, seven short of the school record. Another senior/freshman pairing, Brenna Kelly and Melissa Goodman, won the No. 3 doubles match 8-3.
The No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Madison Gordon and Beatrice Rosen lost by the closest of margins, losing the first set 9-8 following a tiebreaker.
The only singles loss for the Eagles came in the No. 2 spot in a close match, with Rosen narrowly falling to the fifth ranked player in the region 6-4, 6-4.
Clark, the No. 1 ranked player in the region, defeated Johns Hopkins’ No. 1 singles player 6-1, 6-2.
The team win was clinched by Satterfield’s 6-4, 6-3 win in three singles.
Other singles winners were Goodman, Gordon and freshman Katarina Su, who is 10-0 in the spring.
Satterfield’s win marked her 20th of the season, the first Eagle to reach that mark in 2013-14.
The match was celebrated as “Senior Day” for Clark and Kelly, who, as the team’s co-captains, have seen the team achieve three consecutive podium finishes at the NCAA Division III Championships.
After upsetting a higher ranked Johns Hopkins team in convincing fashion, both the men’s and women’s team will look to build on their momentum.
The men’s team will play next on April 14 against Auburn-Montgomery (Ala.), a heavyweight of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The women will play three ranked teams next weekend in Brunswick, Maine, facing off against eighth ranked Middlebury (Vt.), fourth ranked Amherst and seventh ranked Bowdoin (Maine).
– By Oliver Rockman