Courtesy of Wesleyan Sports Information
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The No. 4 Wesleyan women's tennis team upset top-ranked Emory in a thrilling 5-4 Semifinal victory on Tuesday morning. With the win, the Cardinals advance to the NCAA Championship match for the first time ever and improve their school record for wins in a season to 19. Wesleyan began the match with a 2-1 edge after doubles. The Cardinals increased their lead to 4-1 before the Eagles knotted the contest at 4-4. First-year Alexis Almy mounted a come-from-behind victory in both of her sets to top Emory's Jessica Fatemi 6-4, 6-4 and clinch the historic match for Wesleyan.
The Cardinals look to take home the school's first women's team National Title when they meet No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championship.
- Emory earned the first point of the match at #3 doubles. Wesleyan's Almy and Alissa Nakamoto battled back from down three games, on two separate occasions during the match, but were unable to overcome their deficit, falling to Stephanie Taylor and Christina Watson 8-4.
- Victoria Yu and Kristina Yu recorded the first point for the Cardinals at #1 doubles. Trailing 5-3, the duo knotted the set at 5-5. Eagles' tandem Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico and Defne Olcay went back-and-forth with the Wesleyan pair, before the Yu sisters edged Emory 8-6.
- The Cardinals took a 2-1 edge in the match when Polina Kiselev and Venia Yeung earned an 8-5 victory at #2. The duo took a 2-1 lead and never trailed again despite battling some close games.
- Yeung and Kiseleva carried the momentum from their doubles victory into singles play where they both topped their opponents 6-0, 6-2 at #2 and #4, respectively, to give Wesleyan a 4-1 advantage.
- With just one point needed to clinch the match, the Eagles mounted a comeback, cutting the deficit to one (4-3). At #6, Wesleyan's Nakamoto fell 6-1, 6-2, before first-year Yu was defeated at #3 (7-5, 6-4).
- Emory did not back down, recording its third-straight point to knot the match at 4-4. Senior Yu was edged by Gonzalez-Rico 7-6 in the first set at #1, before dropping the second 6-0.
- The fate of both teams came down to the match between Wesleyan's Almy and Emory's Fatemi at #5. Knotted at 2-2 in the first set, Fatemi grew her lead to 4-2, before Almy came from behind to win four-straight games and take the first set 6-4. The second set was similar to the first, but this time Almy found herself down 4-1. She slowly chipped away at the deficit, winning five-straight to claim the set 6-4 and punch Wesleyan's ticket to the Championship match.