For the second consecutive year, Emory advanced to the University
Athletic Association (UAA) tournament championship game. While the
Eagles won the title last year, they came up short this time, falling
to Brandeis (Mass.), 9-3. Nonetheless, five Emory players earned
all-conference honors, including outfielder Tim Hobbs and pitcher
Matthew Palmer, who both made the first team.
Emory is attempting to defy logic by switching to a younger lineup
while maintaining its status as a national contender. At the start
of April, five of the teams top six scorers were underclassmen.
Yet, Emory was ranked 21st in the nation in the NCAA Div. III coaches
poll and 17th nationally in scoring average according to Golf Stat.
Leading the way was sophomore Jason Scherr, whose scoring average
(75) puts him on pace to break Charles Frosts 1999 school
record for lowest season average (75.26).
In only its fourth season of varsity competition, Emory has risen
to No. 4 nationally, thanks to the best start in school history.
The Eagles had a 26-2 record entering April, well on their way to
breaking last seasons school mark of 37 wins. Emory also won
its second consecutive conference championship, rolling through
the tournament undefeated, the first team to do so under the current
eight-game format. Six Eagles made the all-conference first team,
including pitcher Nicole Kovski, who was selected the tournaments
most valuable player. She went 4-0 in the tournament with an ERA
Emory began the spring ranked No. 2 in the nation in Div III. Since
then, it has won all six matches against national Top 25 teams,
including the No. 3, 5, 6 and 7-ranked teams. Sophomore Mary Ellen
Gordon and senior Anusha Natarajan are the defending Div. III doubles
champions. Gordon, ranked No. 2 nationally in singles, knocked off
the nations top-ranked singles player, Methodist (N.C.) Colleges
Elena Blanina, in March.
Entering the spring, Emory was ranked No. 5 in the nation in Div.
III, but even that lofty position may have sold the Eagles short.
Emory is 5-1 against Top 10 teams, including wins against the No.
3 and 4-ranked teams. Emory handed four-time national champion and
third-ranked California-Santa Cruz its first home loss since its
courts were built in 1988. Freshman Mark Odgers, ranked 29th nationally
in singles at the start of the spring, upset Div. IIIs top-ranked
singles player, Averett (Va.) Colleges Vellu Antila, in a
Track & Field
The goal this season for Emory is to defend its conference outdoor
championship. The Eagles look forward to the home-field advantage
when they host the UAA meet, April 1920. One of the key performers
will be junior Rich Hite, a national qualifier in the 800-meter
run last season. Hite got off to a good start this spring by winning
the 800 at the Emory Div. III Invitational with a time (1:55.05)
that would have been good enough to win this years conference
Track & Field
Emory returns one national champion, Danielle LeSure, and one national
qualifier, Sarah Byrd, from last season. The two wasted little time
qualifying for this seasons NCAA Div. III national championship
meet. LeSure, the defending champion in the hammer throw, surpassed
the qualifying standard in the first two meets this season. Byrd
did the same, only in two events: the 3,000-meter steeplechase and
the 5,000-meter run.
Last semester, 24 percent of Emory student-athletes made the Deans
List, which honors students in the top 20 percent of their class,
and 57.5 percent posted grade point averages of 3.31 or higher.
This marks the 24th time in the last 25 semesters that at least
40 percent of Emory student-athletes made 3.31 or higher on their
report cards. Of Emorys 16 varsity athletics teams, 14 had
cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or higher. The womens soccer team led
the way with a 3.56 GPA, placing eight of its 22 players on the
Deans List. Next was womens cross country with a 3.50
GPA, followed by womens basketball and volleyball at 3.44,
and mens soccer at 3.41.
Emory varsity sports updates are available on the web at www.go.emory.edu.