Whit Women's Tennis Duo Falls in National Quarterfinals

News Release Date:
Friday, May 25

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- After picking off a big win in Thursday's Round of 16, the Whitman College doubles duo of Alyssa Roberg and Courtney Lawless was unable to keep pace with Emory's Gabrielle Clark and Zahra Dawson in Friday's quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III National Doubles Championships in Cary, N.C.

Dawson and Clark, seeded No. 2 in the tournament, raced away to a 5-0 lead in the first set before finishing off a 6-2 victory. The second set stayed on serve until the Emory duo won the last three games to wrap up the win.

Courtney Lawless (left), Alyssa Roberg

The victory was the 104th career doubles triumph for Dawson, a senior and ITA All-American. She can set a new Emory school record for doubles wins when she and Clark, a sophomore, play in Saturday's semifinals.

Clark will have an especially busy Saturday in that she also faces Middlebury's Leung Lok-Sze in the singles title match.

The Roberg-Lawless duo was one of only 16 doubles teams from around the country to earn spots in the doubles championship. The Missionary twosome advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals by notching a 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) victory over a pair of Washington University (St. Louis) opponents on Friday.

Dawson and Clark advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over a Skidmore duo in Friday's opening round.

Roberg, a junior, and Lawless, a first-year player, joined forces for much of the season at No. 1 singles, rolling to a 15-5 record. They are ranked No. 2 in doubles in the West Region.

They are the first Whitman women in more than two decades to earn spots in the national singles and doubles championships. They also led Whitman to its first-ever team appearance in the national championships.

Roberg and Lawless earned ITA All-American honors last fall when they won the Northwest regional tournament, advancing to the Small College National Championships where they won two of four matches to place sixth.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu