Emory Report
November 8, 2004
Volume 57, Number 11


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November 8, 2004
Volleyball team spikes two No. 1s in October

John Arengberg is sports information director

A pair of wins against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation highlighted the fall for Emory. Both of those wins belonged to the Eagles’ volleyball team, which beat then-No. 1 New York University on Oct. 17 and followed a week later with a win against then-No. 1 Wittenberg University (Ohio).

In the latter upset, Emory, ranked No. 12 at the time, rallied from an 0–2 deficit in games to win 3-2, marking only the eighth time in school history the Eagles had come from behind to win a best-of-five match after losing the first two games. The same weekend, Emory also beat No. 3 California State University-Hayward, improving its season won-loss record to 23–6.

Shortly after the Wittenberg upset, Emory sophomore Courtney Rose was named national Player of the Week for NCAA Div. III. Emory earned the second seed for the Nov. 5–6 University Athletic Association (UAA) championships, which projected to feature four national Top 25 teams. The Eagles are aiming for a ninth consecutive NCAA national tournament berth with an eye at getting back to the Final Four for the second straight year.

A Top 20 team all season, the Eagles have relied on stingy defense to propel them to an 11-2-2 record and a share of first place in the UAA. A conference title would earn Emory an automatic berth in the NCAA national tournament. The team had a 0.58 goals-against average, on pace to break the school record of 0.69 set last season when the team went 16-3-1. Emory recorded nine shutouts in its first 15 games this year, surpassing its total of eight for all of last season.

After a 1-4 start, all against Top 25 teams, the women’s soccer team rebounded by winning eight of its next nine games, including two wins against Top 20 opponents. All together, the team had three wins against the Top 25 this season, a feat last accomplished by Emory in 1998 when it advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. The Eagles knocked off No. 11 Washington (Mo.) and No. 23 Rochester (N.Y.). Both were UAA wins, boosting Emory into second place in the conference, one point behind the leader.

The squad was ranked 17th in the nation heading into the Oct. 30 UAA championships, projected to boast three Top 25 teams. Afterward, Emory will host the NCAA Div. III regionals, Nov. 13 at Georgia Regional Hospital in Panthersville. The Eagles have won 13 consecutive regional titles. Another regional title would earn Emory a spot in the NCAA national meet the following week.

The team had a 73-18 season record heading into the Oct. 30 UAA championships, slated to have four Top 25 teams in the field. Emory’s frontrunner this season has been senior Andrew Podgurski, who averaged 26:17 seconds for 8,000-meter courses.

Both tennis teams qualified singles and doubles participants for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national tournament by winning their respective ITA regional singles and doubles titles. Sophomore Yoji Masuoka, the team’s No. 7 singles player last season, finished third at the ITA national men’s singles championship. The doubles pairing of Alex Jacobs and Mark Odgers won the regionals for the third time in their career and ended up fifth at the ITA national doubles draw. On the women’s side, freshman Serena Burkard, in her first collegiate competition, won the ITA regional singles title and placed fourth at the ITA national tournament. Her teammates Jamie Chan and Linda Tien were sixth at the national doubles championship after capturing the regional crown. All six players earned All-America honors by virtue of their regional championships.

Returning four of its top five golfers, Emory is poised for success similar to last season when it finished fifth at the NCAA Div. III national championships. The team concluded the fall portion of its schedule with a seventh-place finish at the NCAA National Preview Tournament (held on the same course to be used for the nationals next spring). Previously, the Eagles finished fifth at the Gordin Collegiate Classic. All-American Mike Lebow finished second in a field of 60 golfers, one shot behind the winner.

For more information on Emory varsity athletics, visit www.go.emory.edu