• 7-time NCAA National Champions
  • 5-time ITA National Indoor Champions
  • 6 NCAA Singles Titles
  • 4 NCAA Doubles Titles
  • 39 Individual All-Americans

2018-19 Women's Tennis Season Recap

2018-19 Women's Tennis Season Recap

Led by NCAA Division III Singles National Champion Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico, the Emory University women's tennis team advanced to the national semifinals for the 11th consecutive season and 20th time overall during the 2018-19 season.

The Eagles marched into the final four with three straight dominating victories over North Carolina Wesleyan (5-0), Washington & Lee University (5-0) and University of Chicago (5-0), setting up a semifinal matchup against Wesleyan University.

The four-hour match against the Cardinals went the distance with WU eventually pulling out the 5-4 decision. Emory, pushed to a 4-1 deficit, stormed back to tie the match at 4-4 with wins by Gonzalez-Rico on one, sophomore Defne Olcay on three and freshman Christina Watson on six, setting up the decisive match on court five featuring freshman Jessica Fatemi and WU's Alexis Almy. Fatemi dropped the first set, 6-4, but opened the second strong, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Almy, however, regrouped to take the final five games of the match to seal the win for the Cardinals.

The Eagles finished the season with a 20-4 overall record, the tenth 20-win season under Head Coach Amy Bryant.

Following the team's national semifinal run, Gonzalez-Rico highlighted three Eagles at the NCAA Individual Championships in Kalamazoo, MI as she captured the program's sixth NCAA Division III Singles national championship. Gonzalez-Rico impressed throughout her title run, dropping just one set total across her five matches and bested Wesleyan's Venia Yeung 6-4, 6-3 in the championship match.

For her efforts, Gonzalez-Rico was chosen as one of 11 Division III Honda Women's Athlete of the Year nominees as she concluded the spring season with a 22-1 record including an unblemished 19-0 mark against DIII competition. She compiled an overall record of 34-5 during the 2018-19 campaign, losing just five sets total against DIII foes as she tied Mary Ellen Gordon's single season program record for singles victories.

Gonzalez-Rico and Olcay reached the national quarterfinals in the doubles tournament while senior Daniela Lopez fell to Yeung in the round of 32 to round out the individual championships performers for the Eagles.

Prior to the NCAA Championships, the Eagles captured a pair of team titles in the spring as they won their seventh consecutive and 30th overall University Athletic Association championship in April and in March, Bryant's bunch were crowned the ITA national indoor champions for the third straight year and fifth time overall since the tournament debuted in 2009.

The Eagles' UAA title run featured wins over Rochester (5-0) and Carnegie Mellon (5-1) before defeating Chicago (5-4) in the championship match. At the ITA National Championships, Emory knocked off Sewanee and Pomona-Pitzer by 9-0 margins before taking down Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 5-3, in a rematch of the 2018 NCAA championship match.

Gonzalez-Rico led a group of five Eagles on the All-UAA team as she garnered Player of the Year honors as well First Team recognition for both singles and doubles. Joining her on the First Team were Fatemi and Lopez in both singles and doubles and Olcay for doubles while freshman Emma Cartledge was tabbed to the league's Second Team for singles.

During the fall portion of the schedule, Gonzalez-Rico claimed the ITA Division III singles national championship, becoming just the second player in program history to win both the NCAA and ITA singles national titles in the same season, joining Gordon who accomplished the feat during the 2002-03 campaign. Gonzalez-Rico went on to represent all of Division III in the 64-player field at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Surprise, AZ where she competed against opponents from UCLA and the University of North Carolina.

Gonzalez-Rico finished the season as the nation's top-ranked singles player, one of three Eagles among the final national rankings. Lopez checked in at No. 11 followed by Olcay at No. 39. In the final national doubles rankings, Gonzalez-Rico and Olcay were positioned at the No. 4 spot after their quarterfinal run.


The Eagles earned the following honors during the 2018-19 season:

Division III Honda Women's Athlete of the Year Nominee

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

NCAA Division III Singles National Champion

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

All-America (Intercollegiate Tennis Association)

Jessica Fatemi

Potomac, MD (Walter Johnson)

Doubles

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Singles & Doubles

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

Singles

Defne Olcay

Istanbul, Turkey (Enka Okullari)

Doubles

 

NCAA Championships Participant

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Singles (Champion), Doubles (Quarterfinals)

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom-Everglades)

Singles (Round of 32)

Defne Olcay

Istanbul, Turkey (Enka Okullari)

Doubles (Quarterfinals)

 

University Athletic Association Player of the Year

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

All-UAA

Jessica Fatemi

Potomac, MD (Walter Johnson)

First Team (No. 4 Singles & No. 2 Doubles)

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

First Team (No. 1 Singles & No. 1 Doubles)

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom Everglades)

First Team (No. 2 Singles & No. 2 Doubles)

Defne Olcay

Istanbul, Turkey (Enka Okullari)

First Team (No. Doubles)

Emma Cartledge

Roanoke, VA (North Cross School)

Second Team (No. 5 Singles)

 

ITA/NCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year

Barbora Krtickova

 

ITA Atlantic South Regional Assistant Coach of the Year

Barbora Krtickova

 

ITA Atlantic South Regional Senior Player of the Year

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom Everglades)

 

ITA Atlantic South Regional Player to Watch

Defne Olcay

Istanbul, Turkey (Enka Okullari)

 

ITA Division III ITA Cup Singles National Champion

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

 

ITA Fall South Regional Champion

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Singles & Doubles

Jessica Fatemi

Potomac, MD (Walter Johnson)

Doubles

 

UAA Athlete of the Week

Emma Cartledge

Roanoke, VA (North Cross School)

March 4th

Katie Chang

Coto de Caza, CA (Santa Margarita Catholic)

Nov. 5th

Jessica Fatemi

Potomac, MD (Walter Johnson)

Oct. 1st, April 8th

Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico

Pinecrest, FL (Gulliver Preparatory)

Oct. 1st, Oct. 15th, March 18th, May 13th, May 28th

Daniela Lopez

Coral Gables, FL (Ransom Everglades)

Sept. 17th, April 1st

Defne Olcay

Istanbul, Turkey (Enka Okullari)

March 11th