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GGC falls to Emory in battle of No. 1 women's tennis teams

LAWRENCEVILLE — In an over four-hour contest, the Georgia Gwinnett College women’s tennis team eventually fell to Emory on Monday, 6-3, in a battle of No. 1-ranked squads.

The NAIA No. 1 Grizzlies lost for the first time at home this season in falling to 13-3 overall, while the NCAA Division III No. 1 Eagles improved to 20-2 with their eighth straight victory.

In doubles play, the teams split the first two matches before Valeria Podda and Helena Korompis gave GGC an early 2-1 advantage with an 8-5 victory.

The Eagles went on to capture five of six singles points for their second win over GGC this season. Each of the Grizzlies’ three losses have come to NCAA teams ranked first or second in the nation at the time.

It was the last dual match of the regular season for the Grizzlies and senior Paloma Cortina.

Cortina teamed with Chiara di Salvo for an 8-4 victory at second doubles to highlight her final home match.

“Our team played much better than the last time we faced Emory,” said Grizzlies head coach Chase Hodges. “This was the perfect match for us to get ready for the conference event this weekend in New Orleans and our women will be ready to play.”

The Grizzlies notched a 6-2, 6-0 win from Ines Costamagna at sixth singles, but dropped four singles matches in straight sets and a three-setter by Cortina at third singles.

It was GGC’s first match in 16 days.

Georgia Gwinnett has earned the top seed in the Unaffiliated A.I.I./Gulf Coast/Red River/Sooner tennis championships, to be played Friday and Saturday in New Orleans.

The Grizzlies begin play in Friday’s semifinals at 3 p.m.