KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Despite a thrilling comeback during the doubles portion, the University of Chicago women's tennis team was unable to overcome a determined Emory University squad, as the No. 12 Maroons fell Monday, 5-0, in the NCAA Division III national quarterfinals.
After the No. 1 Eagles (20-3) dominated play at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, the chances of victory for the UChicago No. 2 pair of Marjorie Antohi and Daryn Ellison also looked grim, as they trailed Emory's Jessica Fatemi and Daniel Lopez, 5-1.
But UChicago didn't give in, outscoring the Eagles 6-2 down the stretch to force the tiebreaker at 7-all. The back-and-forth tiebreak finally fell Emory's way though, with Fatemi and Lopez earning the 9-7 decision.
Emory's No. 1 Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico and No. 2 Lopez won in straight sets to force the match win at decision, though UChicago first-year Nicole Semenov did win her opening set at No. 4, 7-5.
With low temperatures and rain in Kalamazoo, the match was forced to be moved indoors into Kalamazoo College's Markin Center. With only four courts available, the No. 5 (Eugenia Lee) and No. 6 (Annika Pandey) singles matches were not able to be started before decision.
"We got a little unlucky by playing Emory indoors today, but the credit really goes to them, they played big and really kept us on our heels most of the match," UChicago Head Coach Jay Tee said.
"Overall, we had a really fantastic season and really grew together as players and as people. We have everyone returning and a good class coming in, so we are still feeling positive about our future and believe we have a chance to be even better in coming years."
The berth in the Elite Eight marked the fourth-straight for the UChicago women and ninth overall. The Maroons finished their 2018-19 campaign with a 16-6 overall record.
NCAA DIVISION III QUARTERFINALS
#1 Emory 5, #12 UChicago 0
1. Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (E) def. Marjorie Antohi (UC), 6-2, 6-0
2. Daniela Lopez (E) def. Catherine Xu (UC), 6-1, 6-1
3. Defne Olcay (E) vs. Lauren Park (UC), 6-4, 2-2, unfinished
4. Nicole Semenov (UC) vs. Emma Cartledge (E), 7-5, unfinished
5. Jessica Fatemi (E) vs. Eugenia Lee (UC), unfinished
6. Lauren Yoon (E) vs. Annika Pandey (UC), unfinished
1. Gonzalez-Rico/OIcay (E) def. Lee/Xu, 8-0
2. Fatemi/Lopez (E) def. Antohi/Daryn Ellison, 8-7 (9-7)
3. Stephanie Taylor/Christina Watson (E) def. Park/Semenov, 8-2