Jeffs Set For NCAA Championship Run
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - The top-ranked Amherst women’s tennis team resumes its quest for a national championship on Monday, May 20 when it takes the court against No. 12 Washington University-St. Louis in the national quarterfinals in Kalamazoo, Mich.
TOURNAMENT DETAILS: The final three rounds of the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championship will take place at Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium and Western Michigan University’s Sorensen Courts. Quarterfinal matches will begin on Monday, May 20, followed by the semifinals on Tuesday and the title match on Wednesday. The individual doubles and singles championships will take place from May 23-25.
LIVE COVERAGE: Live stats and a webcast will be available for the championships, courtesy of Kalamazoo College and the NCAA. Links will be available on the tournament website.
SCOUTING AMHERST (19-2)
Advancing to a fifth consecutive NCAA quarterfinal, the Jeffs are in search of the program’s second national title. Earning a berth into the semifinals in each of the past four years, Amherst finished as the runner-up in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Posting a 46-21 overall record in 19 NCAA Tournament appearances, the Jeffs are 12-5 all-time in the national quarterfinals.
The region’s top-ranked doubles pairing, Jordan Brewer ’14 and Gabby Devlin ’14 have pieced together a tremendous season, regaining the form that earned them the NCAA individual doubles title in 2011. The duo opened 2013 by winning four straight against Division I competition before going undefeated against DIII opponents prior to suffering an upset loss to Williams in the NESCAC championship. On the season, Brewer and Devlin have racked up an impressive 18-3 ledger en route to first team all-league honors.
Ranked ninth in the northeast region, Jennifer Newman ’14 and Zoe Pangalos ’14 have posted a 19-8 mark at second doubles, which included a run to the championship match at the ITA’s fall tournament. Winning nine in a row before suffering a pair of losses to Middlebury and Williams in the NESCAC playoffs, the tandem has gotten back on track, notching identical 8-1 victories in their first two NCAA matches against Wilkes and Skidmore. A staple at the bottom of the doubles order, Caroline Richman ’13 and Safi Aly ’15 are 17-8 in 2012-13. Starting the season just 5-8, the duo has come on of late, rattling off 13-straight wins.
A fixture at the top of the singles lineup, Brewer is 16-7 this year, earning an invitation to the NCAA singles championship. With three wins coming against players ranked among DIII’s top-20, five of her seven losses have come against top-five talent including two, to NESCAC Player of the Year and 2012 NCAA runner-up Lok-Sze Leung of Middlebury.
Newman has been almost as good near the top, carrying a 15-8 overall record to Kalamazoo. Winning 12-straight heading into the conference tournament, only five of her setbacks have come to DIII opponents, including one to Leung in the ITA regional in September. Sue Ghosh ’16 has enjoyed a solid rookie season, going 12-10 in the middle of the order, while Richman takes a 14-8 record into next week’s play.
Holding their own at the bottom of the lineup are Devlin and Pangalos. Sporting an 8-2 record this spring after sitting out the fall, Devlin clinched the Jeffs’ win over Skidmore with a 6-0, 6-0 decision at fifth singles. Pangalos has recovered from a 2-5 start, winning 13-consecutive matches heading into Monday’s quarterfinal.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
Making just its second national quarterfinal appearance, Wash U enters championship play with a 16-7 overall record. Dropping a 6-3 decision to Chicago prior to NCAA play; the Bears upended Wheaton (5-0), before edging out a 5-4 triumph over No. 13 DePauw. It was just the second time this season that Wash U has rallied to a win after trailing following doubles.
No. 4 Emory (16-4) squares off with No. 6 Middlebury (13-6) in the other quarterfinal beginning at 8:30 a.m. Winners of six straight, the Eagles captured the UAA crown before rolling over its first two postseason opponents, which included a 5-0 decision against No. 15 Sewanee. Having won 13 of its last 14 matches, Emory downed the Panthers, 7-2, on Apr. 5. Falling to Amherst (5-4) in the NESCAC semifinals, Middlebury secured a 5-0 victory over No. 22 MIT and a 5-3 win over No. 5 Bowdoin to advance to the Elite 8.
Carrying an unblemished 30-0 mark to Michigan, No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will face off with No. 8 Chicago (18-5) in one of two quarterfinals slated for 11 a.m. Turning away No. 10 Pomona-Pitzer twice over a week’s span, the Athenas bested their rivals 7-2 in the SCIAC championship match before coasting to a 5-3 third round win. Returning to the round of eight for the fifth consecutive season, Chicago has won three in a row after falling to Emory (9-0) on Apr. 26. The Maroons rebounded for a 6-3 victory over Wash U before ousting Ohio Northern (5-0) and No. 22 Wisconsin-Whitewater (5-1) in its first two NCAA matches.
Rounding out the quarterfinal match-ups is a showdown between No. 3 Williams and No. 7 Johns Hopkins. Looking for a sixth consecutive national championship, the Ephs (20-4) have won 11 of their last 12, including six in a row. Downing rival Amherst in the NESCAC championship, Williams scored wins over Ithaca (5-0) and No. 18 Tufts (5-1) to open tournament play. Recording its first 20-win season, the Blue Jays (20-2) are making their second straight appearance in the national quarterfinals. Winning 16-consectutive matches, JHU defeated Swarthmore (5-0) in the Centennial Conference championship before sweeping Scranton and No. 8 Carnegie Mellon in the second and third rounds of tournament play.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: After the team championships, some of the country’s best players will remain in Kalamazoo to compete in the national singles and doubles tournaments from Thursday-Saturday, May 23-25. Representing Amherst in the 32-player singles bracket is Brewer. The junior will also join Devlin in the 16-team doubles tournament. Winning the individual doubles championship together as first-years, Brewer and Devlin will look to repeat the feat this season. Devlin also won last season’s individual doubles title with Laura Danzig ’12.
2013 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships
Quarterfinals - Monday, May 20
No. 1 Amherst vs. No. 12 Wash U - 8:30 a.m. (Stowe)
No. 4 Emory vs. No. 6 Middlebury - 8:30 a.m. (Sorensen)
No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps vs. No. 8 Chicago - 11 a.m. (Stowe)
No. 3 Williams vs. No. 7 Johns Hopkins - 11 a.m. (Sorensen)
Semifinals - Tuesday, May 21
Amherst/Wash U vs. Emory/Middlebury- 8:30 a.m. (Stowe)
CMS/Chicago vs. Williams/Johns Hopkins - 11 a.m. (Stowe)
Finals - Wednesday, May 22
Third-place Match - 8:30 a.m. (Stowe)
Championship Match - 11 a.m. (Stowe)