CLAREMONT, Calif. – For the second time in as many days, the No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's tennis team went toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the country. On Sunday afternoon the Athenas fell just short against the No. 1 Emory Eagles by a 5-4 final score. After dropping two of the three doubles matches, the Athenas won the first two singles points to take a 3-2 lead early in singles play. The Eagles battled back and won two of the next three points to level the match at 4-4 with just the top singles match still being played.
In #1 singles, the match between Catherine Allen (SC) and Emory's Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico was tight throughout. Allen earned a 6-2 victory in the opening set, before Gonzalez-Rico earned the second-set in dramatic fashion, claiming it in a tiebreaker, 7-6. Allen held a 4-3 lead in final set, before Gonzalez-Rico rallied to take the final three games to clinch the set 6-4 and the team victory of Emory, 5-4.
The Eagles built their early lead on the back of strong doubles play. Emory controlled the #2 doubles match 8-1, before tight matches at #1 and #3 doubles were split between the Eagles and Athenas. Emory's Gonzalez-Rico and Bridget Harding earned an 8-6 victory at the top doubles spot, while Kyla Scott (HMC) and Juliette Martin (HMC) earned the lone CMS point in doubles play with an 8-5 victory on the #3 court.
Not only was Saturday's match tight in the end, but every match throughout was close as well. Only two singles matches were won in straight-sets, with Lindsay Brown (CMC) earning a 6-1, 7-5 victory on the third court over Emory's Stephanie Taylor and Rebecca Berger (CMC) taking down the Eagles' Emma Perelman by a 6-3, 6-1 final at #6 singles. The other four singles matches went three sets with Emory holding the edge in the full-length matches. The Eagleswent 3-1 in matches decided over three sets.
Kyla Scott earned the third and final point for the Athenas in singles play with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Anna Fuhr in #4 singles.
The Athenas battled their way through two tough matches against two of the strongest opponents in the country this weekend. A pair of 5-4 losses, shows the separation between the No. 3 Athenas, No. 1 Emory Eagles, and No. 2 Williams Ephs is negligible. CMS will face another big test on Friday when the No. 4 Middlebury Panthers come to town at 12:00 p.m.