Emory sports teams win three NCAA Division III national championships

Emory Report | June 11, 2019

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In March, the Emory women's swimming and diving team captured its 10th consecutive and 12th overall NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving National Championship.

Emory’s varsity athletics teams won a total of three NCAA Division III national championships in the 2018-19 season, with volleyball, women’s swimming and diving, and men’s tennis bringing home top honors.

Emory scored its first national championship for the academic year in November when the volleyball team won its second-ever national title by defeating No. 1-ranked Calvin College at the D-III championships. The Eagles closed their season with a 30-6 record, marking the team’s 12th straight season with 30 or more wins. Emory’s previous volleyball national title came in 2008.

For the women’s swimming and diving team, the NCAA win marked their 10th consecutive – and 12th overall – championship. The nine-point margin of victory over Kenyon in March was the narrowest in the history of the NCAA Division III women’s national meet, dating back to 1982. The Eagles concluded the championship with five event national titles, 19 All-American honors and 17 All-America Honorable Mention certificates. 

The No. 3-ranked Emory men’s tennis team captured the program’s fifth-ever national title on May 22 by defeating No. 1-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the finals. The Eagles won their 18th straight match and closed out their season at 22-2 with the win. In addition to the men’s tennis team championship, Emory also took home both NCAA Division III singles titles in tennis, with Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico claiming the women’s title and Jonathan Jemison capturing the men’s.

The three national championships won by Emory athletic teams during the 2018-19 school year bring the university’s total NCAA Division III championship titles to 27.

Emory is a member of the University Athletic Association (UAA), which also includes Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Rochester and Washington University.

Eight Emory teams won UAA championships for the 2018-19 season: volleyball, men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s swimming and diving, men’s swimming and diving, women’s tennis, men’s tennis and softball. 

Multiple teams reach NCAA postseason play

In addition to the three national titles, several other Emory athletic teams finished their seasons with appearances at NCAA Championship tournaments.

Men’s Swimming and Diving: The men’s team won five event championships and finished as the NCAA D-III national team runners-up for the second straight season. This was the fourth consecutive and 17th time overall that the Eagle men have finished within the top three at the national meet. 

Softball: Emory’s softball team closed its season with a runner-up finish at the NCAA D-III Championships. The Eagles finished the year with a 39-14 record, with its second-place championship finish its best ever at the tournament. 

Women’s Tennis: Emory’s women’s tennis finished the season with an overall record of 20-4, reaching the NCAA national semifinal before falling to Wesleyan University, which went on to win the national championship. 

Golf: Emory’s men’s golf team reached the second round of the NCAA championship tournament but fell short of qualifying for the final two rounds when competition was cut to 18 squads. Emory’s new women’s golf program will begin competing in the 2019-2020 season.

Women’s Soccer: On the soccer front, the women’s team earned a NCAA D-III tournament spot for the first time since 2014, winning their first round match in overtime to notch the squad’s first NCAA tournament win since 2013. They finished the season with a 14-5-1 overall record.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball: Both men’s and women’s basketball teams earned berths in their NCAA D-III tournaments, with the men advancing to the postseason for the seventh straight campaign while the women landed their first berth since 2013. The men’s squad closed out the year with a 20-6 ledger and the women at 19-7.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country: Emory’s 25th-ranked women’s cross country team scored 514 points at the NCAA D-III Championships for a 20th-place finish out of 32 teams. Emory men’s cross country program showed continual improvement during the 2018 season, scoring top-four or higher finishes in five of nine competitions. The highlight – a second-place finish at the NCAA South/Southeast Region Championships – led to an automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Championships.

More successful seasons

Men’s Soccer: The Eagles completed the 2018 season with a 9-7-2 overall record, the team’s 18th consecutive season with a winning record. The Eagles reached the number 3 spot in the D3Soccer.com national poll during the regular season, the highest ranking for the team since the poll's inception in 2009, and moved as high as sixth in the United Soccer Coaches' top-25, the highest position for the program since 2014.

Track and Field: The Emory Track and Field programs earned a combined 26 South/Southeast All-Region outdoor track and field selections. To be named All-Region, an athlete must either be ranked in the top-5 of an individual event in the region according to final TFRRS data or be part of a top-3 relay team. The organization first began recognizing All-Region award winners in 2016.

The women's team, which finished the season as the top ranked team in the USTFCCCA South/Southeast regional rankings, earned 21 of the South/Southeast All-Region honors. Five of the men’s team athletes earned All-Region selections. 

The women’s track and field team recorded a total of five All-America finishes as the team posted its second consecutive top-seven finish at the NCAA D-III Outdoor Championships. Dilys Osei highlighted the meet as she captured the program’s second-ever track event national title, and first since 2002, winning the 400-meter hurdles. Dani Bland added a national runner-up performance in the 100-meter dash. Osei and Bland were two of three Eagles, along with Hannah Lansberry, who recorded multiple All-America honors at the meet.

Baseball: The Eagles logged a winning season with an overall tally of 20 wins and 19 losses, reaching the 20-win mark for the ninth consecutive season and 27th time in program history, going 8-8 in conference games and 16-8 at home.