Women's tennis takes sixth straight conference championship


It came down to one final set between the last two left on the court, senior Elizabeth Young and Denison's Emma Forman, for the DePauw Tigers to hold the North Coast Athletic Conference title for the second consecutive year.
The team won with a 5-4 victory over Denison in the play to decision.
Ranked 11th this year, the team has continued their record to improve to winning six conference championships both in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and NCAC. This will be the team's ninth appearance at the NCAA Division III Championship.
The Tigers swept the courts in doubles with junior Meg Crowley, and sophomore Claire Marshall winning 9-7 in the number one seed and sophomore Taylor Mahr, sophomore and junior Caroline Emhardt defeating their opponents 8-2 in the number two seed. Sophomores Julie Wittwer and Kaitlin Pickrel also pulled out a win, 8-2, on the third court.
Singles became a mental challenge. After dropping the first four sets to the Denison's Big Red it was left up to Mahr and Young the only two who had yet to step on the court.
The other 12 members of the tennis team stood on the sidelines biting their nails, cheering on their teammates with hearts racing.
"We were nervous as all get out," Crowley said.
Mahr fought to the very end to come out on top, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. Young won her first set 7-5, but in the second set trailed 3-0. Young came back to win the next sixteen points and five matches, gave up one match and dug deep to pull out everything she had left to give to win the final match with a final victory, 6-4.
"By the time I was down three zero," Young said. "I knew it was four all and up to me. I had more confidence from winning the first set than my opponent. I had to grind it out."
Young did just that to lead the Tigers to travel to Kalamazoo College to compete in Nationals.
Young came through with the final victory, but every member of the tennis team contributed to the clutching the title.
"We always play for each other," Crowley said.
The team begins training for nationals this week and looks forward to another chance to win.
Young said the team looks forward to the matches to come.