From Emory University Athletics
For the second straight day, the No. 1-ranked Emory men's tennis was pushed to the brink but survived as it registered a thrilling victory over No. 9-ranked Chicago in the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championships. The Eagles raised their overall record to 4-1 following a 5-4 decision over the Maroons who suffered their first loss in nine decisions.
After helping Emory rally against Gustavus Adolphus Friday's quarterfinals, freshman Hayden Cassone came through with the final and clinching point of the match, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, outcome over Jeremy Yuan at four singles, raising his overall record to 11-2 and spring mark to 3-0.
The Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead after bringing home wins in the opening doubles matches. Senior Scott Rubinstein and junior James Spaulding notched the initial point at No. 1 with an 8-3 triumph over Nicolas Chua nd Ninan Kumar, while at second doubles, senior Max Renke and junior Adrien Bouchet moved to 4-0 on the spring with an 8-4 win against Tyler Raclin and Yuan. The Maroons narrowed their deficit following a win at No. 3 doubles.
UC tied the score after winning at six singles, but Emory regained a 3-2 edge following junior Jonathan Jemison's straight-set victory over Chua, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1. After the Maroons' Erik Kerrigan topped EU's Bouchet at No.3 to deadlock the match, senior Andrew Harrington boosted the Eagles to a 4-3 advantage after winning at No. 5, 7-6, 6-4 over UC's Alejandro Rodriguez. A Maroon win at No. 2 tied the score, setting the stage for Cassone's three-set victory.
The heart-stopping outcome over Chicago enabled Emory head coach John Browning to capture his 500th career win. Browning has compiled a record of 364-90 during his 19-year stint as Eagles' head coach while combining for a 136 victories at Pomona-Pitzer, where he coached the men's team for three years (1992-94), and at Salisbury State (1995-99) where he coached both the men's and women's programs.