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No. 2 Emory to meet No. 5 Carnegie Mellon in championship match

ST. PETER, MINN. – Second-seed Emory University and No. 5 seed Carnegie Mellon each posted semifinal victories Saturday to advance to the finals of the inaugural Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship at the Swanson Tennis Center on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. Eight of the top 20 teams in Division III women’s tennis will play off to determine the event’s first champion.

ITA Division III National Women’s Team Indoor Championship: Semifinals
#5 Carnegie Mellon 5, #1 Denison 4
#2 Emory University 8, #3 Mary Washington 1

ITA Division III National Women’s Team Indoor Championship: First Round
#1 Denison 9, #8 Coe College 0
#5 Carnegie Mellon 6, #4 Pomona-Pitzer 3
#3 Mary Washington 8, #6 Gustavus Adolphus 1
#2 Emory University 7, #7 DePauw 2

More on the Finalists
Carnegie Mellon (8-0): The eighth-ranked Tartans edged top-ranked Denison in a thrilling 5-4 win that came down to the No. 6 singles. Carnegie Mellon compiled its second straight upset defeating the Big Red 5-4 and improving its dual-match to 8-0 on the season. The Tartans started the match leading 1-0 after Jennifer Chui and freshman Amanda Wu won 8-4 at No.3 doubles over Kara Zdanowski and Erin Chadwell. Carnegie Mellon fell at first and second doubles to trail 2-1 heading into singles play. Freshman Laura Chen knotted the score at 2-2 winning 6-3, 6-1 over Meghan Damico at No. 1. After dropping a point at second singles, freshman Courtney Chin won 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 at third singles over Marta Drane. The two teams once again exchanged points as Denison claimed a win at the No. 4 position before Kelly Hart dropped Sarah Short, 6-3, 7-5 making the score 4-4. Freshman Cze-Ja Tam would face Zdanowski at No. 6 singles to determine which team would advance to the championship match. Tam held on to capture the 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 victory to secure the upset victory for the CMU.
First Round Matchup: No. 5 Carnegie Mellon 6, No. 4 Pomona-Pitzer 3
Semifinal Matchup: No. 5 Carnegie Mellon 5, No. 1 Denison 4
No. 5 Carnegie Mellon vs. No. 2 Emory – 9 a.m. (CT)

Emory University (5-2): Following in the footsteps of their male counterparts, the fifth-ranked Eagles flew past the sixth-ranked Eagles of Mary Washington with a 7-2 win. After sweeping the doubles points to build a 3-0 lead, Katie Schafer put UMW on the board with the first singles point of the match, defeating Kirsten Hillcock 6-1, 6-2. At that point, Emory would fire back with two wins of their own to clinch the match and win the final five points to seal the 8-1 victory. After dropping the first set, 0-6, Lorne McManigle would climb back to win the second set 7-6, before clinching the win with a 6-1 third set. In Emory’s first two matchups, they have outscored their opponents 15-2 but face a Carnegie Mellon team that has notched two upsets in consecutive days.
First Round Matchup: No. 2 Emory 7, No. 7 DePauw 2
Semifinal Matchup: No. 2 Emory 8, Mary Washington 1
Championship Matchup: No. 2 Emory vs. No. 5 Carnegie Mellon – 9 a.m. (CT)

Many of the top players in Division III have taken part in the tournament including six singles players currently ranked in the top five regionally. Tomorrow’s championship match features half of the top-ranked field in Lauren Chen of Carnegie Mellon and Lorne McManigle and Zahra Dawson of Emory.

In doubles play, seven teams participating in the championship are currently ranked in the top five regionally. Among these tandems are Chen and Amanda Wu of Carnegie Mellon, McManigle and Sabra Rogers and Sara Vrabec and Lindsay Reidenbach of Emory, participating in Sunday’s finals match.

In the consolation round, No. 4 Pomona-Pitzer beat No. 8 Coe College, 8-1, while No. 7 DePauw downed host and sixth-seeded Gustavus Adolphus, 8-1 to advance to the fifth-place match.

Carnegie Mellon and Emory will play in the finals Sunday at 9 a.m. while Denison and Mary Washington will play for the third place trophy in a match that also starts at 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

This newest addition to the ITA national tournament calendar joins its men's counterpart, the ITA National Division III Men's Team Indoor Championships, which was also hosted by Gustavus Adolphus last weekend, February 20-22 at the Swanson Tennis Center in St. Peter, Minn. In a finals matchup that pitted the top two seeds against one another, No. 2 Emory University upset top-ranked Washington University, 6-3, to capture the team’s third ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship title.

For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.