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May 19, 2009

Three of Top Four Teams Advance on Day One

Nationally ranked #1 Washington University St. Louis faced  #9 ranked Gustavus Adolphus in the first of four quarterfinal matches at the NCAA Division III Men’s team Championships on Tuesday.  Wash U took  a 2-1 advantage after doubles play, winning at the #2 and #3 positions.  Singles play between the teams pitted nationally ranked #1, and undefeated, John Kauss of Gustavus against #3 ranked John Watts of Wash U.  The match was not completed, however, after Wash. U. took three of five singles matches to clinch the victory and take one step closer to defending their national team title.

Doubles play was key in the rest of the day’s quarterfinal matches.  Amherst jump out to a big advantage after sweeping the doubles matches against NESCAC rival Middlebury.  The 3-0 lead proved decisive as the #6 ranked Amherst Lord Jeffs upset the #5 ranked Middlebury Panthers 5-1.  Amherst had overcome two regular season losses to Middlebury.

In the afternoon, UCSC was anything but sluggish in beating their Williams College opponents 5-0.  Doubles play proved important again as the Slugs jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back, finishing the Ephs singles wins at #2 and #5.

On the upper courts, #2 ranked Emory took on #7 ranked Kenyon College. Led by the doubles brother pair of Michael and Chris Goodwin, Emory took a commanding 3-0 advantage into singles play.  Younger brother Chris, playing #2 singles, and #3 singles player Mark Boren, provided the singles wins for the 5-0 victory.

The semi-finals continue Wednesday at 1PM (PST) with #1 Wash. U. taking on #6 Amherst, and #2 Emory battling it out against #3 UC Santa Cruz. Wash U was the 2008 team champion, with UC Santa Cruz winning in 2007 and Emory winning in 2006.