NASHVILLE, TN - The No. 1 ranked CMS women's tennis team fell behind 2-1 after doubles and couldn't quite fight its way back as it dropped a 5-3 decision to No. 2 Emory in the title match of the ITA Indoor Championships on Sunday.
The loss was the first of the year for CMS, which falls to 7-1 on the season. Emory improves to 6-0 on the year after winning four of its first five matches 9-0 (and the other 8-1).
Sophomore Caroline Cox accounted for two of the three CMS points, teaming with Catherine Allen for an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles and then winning 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5 singles to tie the score 2-2. Sophomore Rebecca Berger earned the other one by sweeping a third-set tiebreaker 7-0 to take a 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 win in a match that featured wild momentum swings both ways.
CMS looked to be in strong shape in singles after falling in the 2-1 hole, leading on most of the courts in the first set. Berger and Cox quickly took their first sets, and Allen added a 6-3 win at No. 1. Cox finished off her quick win to tie the score before three of the singles courts had even finished the first set, but Emory was able to take back some of the momentum by winning the first sets at No. 2, No. 4, and No. 6, with 4 and 6 both decided in tiebreakers.
Defne Olcay defeated Nicole Tan 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 to give Emory back the lead, and Allen went to a second-set tiebreaker at No. 1 with a chance to pull CMS back even in her match against Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico, the No. 1 rated singles player in Division III. Gonzalez-Rico, though, was able to prevail in the tiebreaker to earn the split and force it to a third set.
Jessica Fatemi followed with a 7-6, 6-3 win for Emory at No. 6 over CMS freshman Sarah Bahsoun to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead and put them within one point of winning. Berger came through to keep the Athenas alive by rolling to a 7-0 tiebreaker win in the third set at No. 3, but Emma Cartledge hit a winner on Court 4 to edge freshman Sydney Lee 7-6, 6-4 and finish off the win. The match between Gonzalez-Rico and Allen was left unfinished with Gonzalez-Rico ahead 3-1 in the third set.
CMS will be back in action next Sunday for a home tripleheader, taking on Hardin-Simmons at 9 a.m., Haverford at 12 noon and Division I Quinnipiac at 3 p.m.