Emory University became the first NCAA Division III school ever to win three consecutive national women's team championships. The feat has been accomplished once in Division I and three times in Division II.
This was Emory's fourth national championship overall, tying a Division III record. (Emory won its first national title in 1996.) The Eagles also tied the record for most wins all-time (30) in the NCAA Division III team championship.
Coach Amy Smith has had a hand in all four national titles. She coached the last three championships and played No. 1 singles for the 1996 national champions. Smith holds the distinction of being the first female, in any NCAA division, to win the national team title as a player and coach.
Emory replaced three of its six singles players from the team that won the national title in 2004. All three replacements this season were freshmen.
Emory won the championship with a 5-3 victory against Washington & Lee University (Va.). This is the third time Emory has beaten Washington & Lee in the NCAA finals. The other two were 1996 and 2003. The last time the national finals were held in Kalamazoo, site of this year's tournament, was 1996 when Emory beat W&L for the title.
This was Emory's 21st consecutive appearance in the NCAA team championship, longest in Division III women's tennis, and the fifth longest for any NCAA women's tennis program.
Emory finishes with a 20-3 record, its third consecutive 20-win season, fifth in school history. The others were 1996 and 1997.
Emory was 13-1 this season against national top-20 teams in Division III. Its only loss was 5-4 to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.), the No. 11 team in the nation March 27. That came at the end of a stretch of five matches in four days against national top-20 teams, one in which Emory rested one of its regular singles players and had three players slotted higher than usual in the singles lineup.
Emory graduates two seniors, Carina Alberelli and Lindsay Tiemeyer. Alberelli was a four-time All-American, twice in singles and twice in doubles. Tiemeyer was 7-1 at No. 3 doubles with Indu Anand this season, including a perfect 3-0 at the NCAA finals.
Emory won the conference team title for the 18th consecutive year. The Eagles have won every UAA championship since it first conducted tennis championships in 1988. That is the longest title streak in conference history in any sport.
Alberelli was chosen the conference's Most Valuable Player, the fifth consecutive year the honor has gone to an Emory player. The Eagles were honored on the all-conference first team at five of the six singles positions and all three doubles positions.
Following are some individual honors from this season:
|All-America (NCAA Division III)|
|Singles||Carina Alberelli||Miami, FL (Westminster Christian)|
|Doubles||Carina Alberelli||Miami, FL (Westminster Christian)|
|Singles||Serena Burkard||Indianapolis, IN (North Central)|
|Doubles||Jamie Chan||Lakeland, FL (Lakeland Christian)|
|Doubles||Linda Tien||Tampa, FL (King)|
|Regional Awards (Intercollegiate Tennis Association)|
|Arthur Ashe||Carina Alberelli||Miami, FL (Westminster Christian)|
|All-Conference (University Athletic Association)|
|Most Valuable Player||Carina Alberelli||Miami, FL (Westminster Christian)|
|First Team||Carina Alberelli||Miami, FL (Westminster Christian)||No. 1 Singles|
|First Team||Serena Burkard||Indianapolis, IN (North Central)||No. 3 Singles|
|First Team||Jamie Chan||Lakeland, FL (Lakeland Christian)||No. 4 Singles|
|First Team||Linda Tien||Tampa, FL (King)||No. 5 Singles|
|First Team||Indu Anand||Burr Ridge, IL (Hinsdale Central)||No. 6 Singles|
|First Team||Carina Alberelli||Miami, FL (Westminster Christian)||No. 1 Doubles|
|First Team||Jamie Chan||Lakeland, FL (Lakeland Christian)||No. 1 Doubles|
|First Team||Serena Burkard||Indianapolis, IN (North Central)||No. 2 Doubles|
|First Team||Alexandra Gross||Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati Country Day)||No. 2 Doubles|
|First Team||Indu Anand||Burr Ridge, IL (Hinsdale Central)||No. 3 Doubles|
|First Team||Lindsay Tiemeyer||Alexandria, VA (Cranbrook Kingswood)||No. 3 Doubles|
Alberelli became the third Eagle ever to earn All-America honors in both singles and doubles in back-to-back years. She finished 14th in the final national singles rankings compiled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and fifth in national doubles rankings along with teammate Jamie Chan. Alberelli advanced to the round of 16 in both the NCAA Division III national singles and doubles championships. She was awarded the No. 6 seed for the NCAA singles championship based on her play in the regular season. The senior finished with a 16-12 record in singles and was 17-6 in doubles with Chan. Alberelli is one of two players to have played in every finals for Emory's current streak of three consecutive national team championships. She played No. 5 singles for the 2003 national champs, No. 3 in 2004 and No. 1 this season. Alberelli clinched the deciding team point in its NCAA quarterfinal win this season against Redlands (Calif.). She had seven wins this season in singles against opponents from teams ranked in the top 20 nationally. Alberelli was chosen the regional winner of the ITA's Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for sportsmanship and leadership. The ITA ranked her fourth in the region among singles players and first (with Chan) among doubles pairings. She was voted the conference Most Valuable Performer. She finished her career as a four-time all-conference honoree in singles and three times in doubles. Alberelli graduated in eighth place on the school's all-time list for career singles wins (72), ninth in career singles win percentage (.758), fifth in career doubles wins (77), and fifth in career doubles win percentage (.794).
Anand, a freshman, compiled a 20-2 record in singles. Her .909 singles win percentage this season is the third best in school history (the top two belong to a two-time national singles champion). Anand was a perfect 11-0 in singles against opponents from teams ranked in the top 20 nationally. Her only singles losses were to an Emory teammate in the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional championships last fall and in three sets to an opponent from Wofford (S.C.), an NCAA Division I scholarship school, this spring. Anand was a perfect 6-0 in singles and doubles combined in the last three matches of the NCAA team championship. She clinched the winning team point for Emory in its NCAA semifinal match against Amherst (Mass.). She teamed up with Lindsay Tiemeyer for an 8-1 record in doubles. The pairing was 12th in the final regional doubles rankings compiled by the ITA. Anand was named to the all-conference first team at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles.
Burkard became the third Emory freshman ever to receive All-America honors as a singles player. She earned the honor by winning the singles title at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional championship last fall. Burkard then placed fourth at the ITA national championship. She was was 36th in the final national rankings compiled by the ITA and 12th in the regional singles rankings. Burkard amassed a season won-loss record of 20-10 in singles and 25-5 in doubles. She had nine singles wins against opponents from schools ranked in the top 20 nationally. Her 25 doubles wins was the 11th-highest total in school history and her .833 doubles win percentage was the 12th best ever at Emory. She and doubles partner Alexandra Gross were seventh in the final ITA regional doubles rankings. Burkard was named to the all-conference first team at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles.
Chan, a junior, became an All-American for the first time in her career. She earned the honor in doubles where she and teammate Carina Alberelli finished fifth in the national doubles rankings compiled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The duo were among 16 entrants selected for the NCAA national doubles championship. Chan amassed a 17-6 record in doubles with Alberelli, and a 26-9 doubles record overall. Her 26 doubles wins are the seventh most in school history in one season. Last fall, Chan and Linda Tien teamed to win the ITA regional doubles championship and then finished sixth at the ITA national championships. Chan was 16th in the final ITA regional singles rankings and first (with Alberelli) in the regional doubles rankings. She had a 19-4 record in singles, winning her last 10 singles matches of the season. Chan recorded nine singles wins against opponents from teams ranked in the top 20 nationally. In the NCAA team championship, Chan had a perfect 8-0 record in singles and doubles combined. She clinched the decisive team point in its NCAA "Sweet 16" win against Rhodes (Tenn.). Chan is one of two players to have played in every finals for Emory's current streak of three consecutive national team championships. She was named to the all-conference team in singles and doubles for the third time in as many years. Entering her senior season, Chan will be in 12th place on the school's all-time list for career singles wins (61), fourth in career singles win percentage (.847), 10th in career doubles wins (64), and eighth in career doubles win percentage (.762).
Gross, a freshman, competed regularly in the No. 2 doubles spot along with teammate Serena Burkard, and occasionally at the No. 6 singles spot. She and Burkard were seventh in the final regional doubles rankings compiled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Gross had a 23-5 doubles record, good for an .821 win percentage, 13th best in school history. She had an 8-2 record in singles overall, 4-0 in dual matches. In those four dual matches, Gross did not drop a set and lost only one game combined. Her only two singles losses were to Emory teammates in separate tournaments last fall.
Marasigan, the team's No. 2 singles player, clinched the national championship point for Emory in the NCAA finals against Washington & Lee (Va.). She was 31st in the final national singles rankings compiled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and ninth in the regional singles rankings. Marasigan amassed a 21-9 record in singles giving her a two-year total of 38-15. She had nine singles wins against opponents from schools ranked in the top 20 nationally.
Tien became the fifth Emory freshman ever to earn All-America honors. She did so as a doubles player by pairing with Jamie Chan to win the doubles title at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional championships last fall. The duo placed sixth at the ITA national championships. That capped a fall in which Tien had a 7-3 doubles record. As a singles player, she had a 20-5 record, primarily at No. 5 singles. Tien had nine singles wins against opponents from schools ranked in the top 20 nationally. She was voted to the all-conference first team at No. 5 singles.
The senior competed in the NCAA championships for the first time in her career. She and doubles partner Indu Anand won their match in the NCAA quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Together they had an 8-1 doubles record with their only loss by a 9-8 (6) score in the NCAA quarterfinals. Seven of their wins were against opponents from schools ranked in the top 20 nationally. They were 12th in the final regional doubles rankings compiled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.