The Oxford College of Emory University competed and performed exceptionally this past week in the National Championship tournament in Plano, Texas to earn their third straight national title!
From the first point Oxford was ready to go, winning 8 out of 10 of their matches on day 1, including a huge upset at number three singles. Akshay Raghuram won his play-in match then bested the number one seed in an almost three hour battle in the first round. After day one, Oxford was behind Brookdale Community College by 2 points.
Day 2 could literally not have been more perfect. Oxford went undefeated, winning 10/10 of their matches, which included impressive wins at number one singles (Guillermo Cabral) and number three doubles (AJ Sonawala & Henry Hua) against rival Brookdale. After Day 2, Oxford was in first place by 3 points.
Day 3 was a little lighter, with the consolation finals taking place. Number one doubles (Guillermo Cabral & Michael Pioso) won the consolation doubles final handily, providing a crucial 1.5 points for the eagles.
Day 4 was finals day, with Oxford being represented in 7/9 of the finals.
Guillermo, Akshay, and Gordon Hua all won their singles finals in straight sets, earning first team All-American honors. Henry Hua and Geo Yang fought valiantly, but fell in their singles finals in tightly contested matches at 4 and 6 singles, earning second team All-American honors. Gordon's critical win over Brookdale, as well as Akshay and Guillermo's subsequent victories, clinched the national championship.
The doubles finals took place later that day. Oxford was represented in the second and third doubles flight finals. Oxford won at third doubles in a second set tie breaker, earning first team All-American honors for AJ Sonawala and Henry Hua. Second doubles played brilliantly, but came up a little short, losing 7-5 in the third set, but earning second team All-American honors for Akshay Raghuram and Gordon Hua. In the final tally, Oxford College of Emory University bested Brookdale by 1.5 points, winning their third straight NJCAA Division III national championship.
Coach Pernilla Hardin was awarded the Max Grubbs Coach of the tournament award, which was well deserved.