April 21, 2003

Softball grabs historic No. 1 ranking

John Arenberg is Emory sports information director

Emory’s softball team is ranked No. 1 in the national NCAA Div. III poll conducted by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), marking the first time in the five-year history of its softball program that Emory has been ranked the top team in the country. Emory came into the season ranked No. 3, thanks in part to its third-place finish at the Div. III World Series last season. The Eagles are 28-3 this year with all three losses to NAIA-nationally ranked North Georgia College. Emory is 4-0 against teams currently in the NFCA Top 25 poll; The Eagles have wins against No. 8 Salisbury State (Md.) and No. 12 Roanoke (Va.), and two wins against No. 14 Washington (Mo.).

Senior Kyle Foster, junior Paul Myslinski and sophomores Bryan Langbord and Andrew Pinckney were selected to the all-conference first team. For Foster, Myslinski and Langbord, this is their second career selection. Foster hit .471 in six starts at the conference tournament. Pinckney batted .571, Myslinski .429 and Langbord .389 in this season’s tournament.

Tennis (men)

Emory is looking to win its 14th consecutive University Athletic Association (UAA) championship. The Eagles are ranked second in the nation for Div. III and have defeated three Top 10 opponents. Emory features a lineup that includes four Div. III nationally ranked singles players: Junior Mark Odgers was ranked fifth in the nation, sophomore Tyson Ramsay ninth, freshman Jesse Ferlianto 26th and sophomore Alex Jacobs 33rd.

Tennis (women)
Emory defeated two-time defending national champion Williams (Mass.) by a score of 9-0 in the final match of the Fab 7 Tournament, marking the Eagles’ fourth win in six days and eighth of the season against a Top 10 opponent. In the Fab 7, Emory beat the Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 teams in the nation by scores of 9-0 or 8-1. The Eagles are currently ranked No. 1 in Div. III and feature the top-ranked singles player, junior Mary Ellen Gordon, and the top-ranked doubles team in Gordon and freshman Jolyn Taylor. Three other singles players are ranked in the top 35 nationally, including two in the top 20, and one other doubles team is ranked in the top 15.

Emory is ranked 11th in the nation in the coaches’ poll but has the misfortune of being in the same region with five teams ranked in the Top 10. Traditionally, four to six teams from the region are selected for the NCAA national tournament. The Eagles are on pace to set a school record for lowest team scoring average, 301.2 per 18 holes (counting four best individual scores) in mid-April.

Track & Field (Outdoor)
Junior Chris Nehls is threatening to turn the team into a one-man show. In the Duke Invitational, he helped break three school records, one of them his own and another an 18-year-old benchmark, one of the oldest on the books. Nehls broke his record in the 110-meter hurdles with the fastest time in Div. III this season,14.35 seconds. He then ran a leg on two relays (4x100 and 4x400) that broke school records and qualified for the NCAA national meet.

The standout performer for the women’s team has been sophomore Angela Davie, a cross country All-American last fall. At the Duke Invitational, she ran her fastest time of the season in the 5,000-meter run (17:55.26) but narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA national championships.

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