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October 8, 2001

Fall teams have strong start, women's soccer volleyball in Top 10

John Arenberg is Emory sports information director.


Cross country (men)
Emory, ranked No. 24 in the nation among NCAA Div. III schools, is fielding virtually the same lineup as last season. Despite losing top runner Adam Carlson to graduation, the Eagles have made dramatic strides, most notably winning the Vanderbilt (Tenn.) Invitational (a school first), a meet full of Div. I and II scholarship schools. Sophomore Paul Tufaro, no better than the team’s No. 6 runner a year ago, led the Eagles by placing sixth overall out of 213 runners at Vanderbilt.

Cross country (women)
With 10 consecutive trips to the national championships, Emory has set high goals for itself, namely another strong showing at nationals in November. As a result, the Eagles paced themselves in September and early October. Still, they ended up winning both the Sewanee (Tenn.) and Georgia State invitationals. Despite an injury, senior Sarah Byrd recorded a time of 18:20 on a 5,000-meter course in the second meet of the season, already faster than she ran at the end of last season when she finished 22nd at nationals.

Soccer (men)
As baseball’s Yogi Berra would say, “It was déjà vu all over again.” For the second year in a row, Emory opened conference play with a 3-0 win—over Brandeis (Mass.)—followed by a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Rochester (N.Y.). The Eagles are hoping that’s where the similarities end. Offensively, there is no comparison to last year’s squad, which struggled to score 28 goals in 17 games. Heading into October, this year’s team needed only eight games to surpass 28 goals, averaging 3.33 goals per contest.

Soccer (women)
With nearly every player back from the team that finished No. 10 nationally last season, the question for this year’s Eagles is what to do for an encore. The team quickly answered by reeling off a school-record nine-game win streak to start the season, propelling it to a No. 8 ranking. Emory extended its conference-record unbeaten streak in University Athletic Association play to 24 games, dating back to October 1997.

With an almost entirely new cast, Emory has produced old results, namely success at the regional and national level. The Eagles raced off to the best start in school history with a 17-1 record. Along the way, Emory knocked off several regional foes to move into the top spot in the regional rankings heading into October and a No. 6 national ranking. Of the 17 players on the opening-day roster, 13 were freshmen or sophomores.

Tennis (women)
In a tournament featuring the reigning national champions in singles and doubles, one advanced and the other was eliminated. In the Sept. 28–30 Intercollegiate Tennis Associa-tion (ITA) regional finals, Emory’s Mary Ellen Gordon, defending ITA national champion, fell to defending NCAA Div. III champion Elena Blanina of Methodist (N.C.), 7-5, 6-0. Gordon and Anusha Natarajan, defending NCAA doubles champions, were eliminated in the ITA semifinals by teammates Margaret Moscato and Emily Warburg. Moscato and Warburg were defeated in the finals by Methodist’s Blanina and Carla Simpson, 8-4.

In its season debut, Emory finished fifth out of 21 teams at the Williams (Mass.) Invitational. The Eagles recorded a two-day score of 605, their fourth-best ever in the fall and 11th best all-time. Of the team’s five golfers, three were making their college debut, including freshman Timothy Hamm. Hamm led Emory with a score of 149 (72-77), good for
12th overall in a field of 105 competitors.

Emory varsity sports updates are available online at


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