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NCAA Championships
CMS Women Make History With NCAA Division III Title

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps couldn’t have scripted a better way to win the first national title in program history.

Playing on its home courts, the Athenas took down the two titans of Division III women’s tennis in back-to-back days to enter the record books.

The Athenas Won Their First NCAA Division III Title
© CMS Athletics

Freshman Rebecca Berger capped a grinding comeback with her second straight clinching win as No. 3 CMS defeated No. 1 Emory 5-4 in the Division III championship match on Wednesday night at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, California.

Having defeated No. 2 and defending champion Williams in the semifinal to snap the Ephs’ 34-match winning streak, CMS joined Washington & Lee (2007) as the only teams other than Emory or Williams to win the national title since 2001.

CMS (29-2) became the first Division III women’s program to win the national title on its home courts.

“It was pretty unbelievable,” CMS head coach David Schwarz said. “Williams and Emory are signature programs on the women’s side, and we had to go through both of them and come from behind in each match. But I have a really special group, and they just had a belief they were going to win.”

Schwarz claimed his third NCAA Division III title, but first with a women’s program. As the head coach for the Middlebury men from 2000-2010, he led the Panthers to their first two titles in 2000 and 2010.

In a nostalgic coincidence, the Middlebury men captured their third NCAA title right before the CMS women took the courts on Wednesday.

“I still have a lot of ties to Mid,” Schwarz said. “Their assistant, Andrew Thompson, played for me and coached for me, and their athletic director, who was in town, is a close friend of mine. I am close with (Middlebury coach) Bob Hansen and we coached against one another. It was great to see them win.”

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Page updated on Friday, September 28, 2018
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