CMS holds off tough opponents for tennis NCAA championship
For the past two decades, No. 1 Emory Eagles and No. 2 Williams Ephs have ruled NCAA Division III women's tennis, combining for the last 10 national championships and 16 of the last 17 titles. This week the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas toppled both giants in back-to-back days, claiming their first NCAA Division III National Championship in program history.
After sweeping MIT in the quarterfinals, and disposing of the defending national champion Williams in the semifinals, only Emory stood between the Athenas and the championship.
The title fight lived up to the billing with Emory and CMS trading blows throughout the match. In the end, it was the Athenas that landed the knockout punch from Claremont McKenna College freshman Rebecca Berger with a 6-2, 6-3 win that locked up a comeback 5-4 victory for the Athenas.
Winning the title at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center, marked the first time in Division III women's tennis history that a team clinched the national championship on their home courts.
The Athenas finish the season with an overall record of 29-2 and join Washington & Lee (2007 National Title) as the only non-Emory or Williams national champion since 2001.
The women's tennis team joins the Athenas' women's volleyball and women's golf teams as National Champions in the 2017-18 season, continuing an unprecedented year of success for CMS Athletics on the national stage.