Courtesy Emory Athletics
The No. 3-ranked Emory men’s tennis team captured the program’s fifth-ever national title on Wednesday, defeating No. 1-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the finals of the NCAA D-III Championships.
The Eagles won their 18th straight match and closed out their season at 22-2 following a 5-3 victory over the Stags who finished at 32-2. The match was played at the Stowe Stadium on the campus of Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The Stags took a 1-0 match lead following the result at No. 1 doubles where Julian Gordy and Nikolai Parodi topped the Eagles’ senior duo of Jonathan Jemison and Adrien Bouchet, 8-4. Emory knotted the score after the No. 2 team of senior James Spaulding and Will Wanner built a 7-2 lead and then held off Oscar Burney and Daniel Park, 8-6, to close out their season with an overall slate of 18-6.
For Spaulding, it marked his 87th career doubles victory which slots him fifth all-time at Emory. At third doubles, sophomore Hayden Cassone and freshman Antonio Mora gave the Eagles the rubber match of that portion of the competition, rallying for an 8-6 decision against Jack Katzman and Robert Liu, which wrapped up their season record at 20-4.
Singles play saw some significant momentum shifts, the first taking place when CMS won at the Nos. 6 and 2 spots, respectively, to move into a 3-2 lead. However, those would be the last points that the Stags would get as Mora tied the match at 3-3 with an impressive 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 4 over Robert Liu, finishing his rookie season with an overall mark of 20-3. Bouchet put Emory one point from winning the match after dispatching Julian Gordy at third singles, 6-4, 6-1, which marked his eighth straight win and 23rd this season in 26 outcomes.
With Jemison and freshman Andrew Esses both competing in three-set matches, it was Jemison who registered national championship point for the Eagles at the No. 1 post with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph vs. Nikolai Parodi, snapping Parodi’s 13-match winning streak while boosting his season record to 21-5. It was Jemison’s 94th career singles win, moving him into fourth place on the program’s all-time list.
This year’s squad joins the 2003, 2006, 2012 and 2017 Emory teams to win national titles. It is the third national championship won by Emory athletic teams during the 2018-19 school year (volleyball & women’s swimming & diving) and the 27th overall for the department.
With the team portion of the Championships completed, the Eagles will be well represented in the Singles and Doubles Championships. Jonathan Jemison, Adrien Bouchet and Hayden Cassone will participate in the Singles Championships, with Jemison and Bouchet competing in the Doubles Championships. Draws for those competitions will be made on Thursday with action getting underway on Friday.