Emory University's Jonathan Jemison capped off a stellar four-year career in grand style Sunday afternoon by capturing the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Singles Championship. The Championships were held in Kalamazoo, Michigan with Kalamazoo College serving as the host institution.
Jemison became the fourth men's player in school history to bring home the singles title following a hard-fought three-set victory over Leo Vithoontien of Carleton College. Jemison, a four-time competitor in the Singles Championships, closed out his 2018-19 season with a 26-5 record with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 verdict over Vithoontien who finished his season at 27-3.
In the decisive third set, Jemsion held a 4-2 edge before breaking Vithoontien that put him one game from bringing home the title. However, the sophomore from Carleton battled back, holding serve and them breaking Jemison to creep back to within 5-4. However, Jemison prevailed on his serve, capping off a memorable week at the Championships that began when he provided the clinching point in the team's title victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
"Jonathan's effort today furthered cemented the fact that he ranks as one of the most mentally tough players we have ever had pass through our program," stated Eagles Head Coach John Browing. "He struggled a bit prior to the start of the team tournament, but through his will and determination he found his rhythm and had a story book finish to his career."
Jemison, who grinded away to five wins en route to the singles crown, joins Dillon Pottish (2012), Chris Goodwin (2001) and Michael Goodwin (2009) as other Emory men's players to bring home the NCAA D-III men's singles crown. He finished off his stint as an Eagle with 99 career singles wins, tying Gavin O'Connell (1997-2001) for the No. 2 spot on the program's all-time list
Earlier in the day, Emory's Ysabel Gonzales-Rico emerged with the women's singles title, topping Venia Yeung from Wesleyan University, 6-4, 6-3, marking just the fifth time in NCAA DIII history that the men's and women's singles champ had come from the same school, with Emory now having accounted for that on three occasions, 2012 (Dillon Pottish & Gabby Clark) and 2009 (Michael Goodwin and Lorne McManigle).
Jonathan Jemison and Leo Vithoontien shake hands after the NCAA D-III Singles Championship Match