Amherst Finishes Fourth in Nation

AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Amherst College women's tennis finished as the No. 4 team in the nation after advancing to its first-ever Final Four in the NCAA Division III Tournament. This is the fourth straight appearance for the team in the NCAA Championship. Last year the team claimed a seventh place finish in the Tournament.

The Jeffs swept UC-San Diego in the first round before downing top-seeded Trinity, 6-3, in the quarterfinals to reach the Final Four. Facing Skidmore in the semifinals, Amherst suffered only its second loss of the 1997-98 season, 5-2, at the racquets of the eventual national champion. Amherst rallied from a 3-0 deficit after doubles competition for fourth place, after falling 5-4 to Gustavus Adolphus.

Neely Steinberg (Concord, MA) concluded her junior season with a perfect spring, boasting a 14-0 individual record at No. 3 singles. Steinberg is coming off a 16-1 fall season with her second New England Championship in No. 3 singles and third straight at No. 1 doubles. As a sophomore, Steinberg compiled a 28-2 individual record for the year.

Steinberg will continue competition this weekend as she and partner Pam Diamond (Trumbull, CT) have been selected to compete for the NCAA Doubles Championship. The pair finished the spring with an 11-1 record as a team. Diamond is making her third individual appearance in as many years at the NCAA Individual Championships, as the junior has been selected among the top-32 singles players in the nation.

Rookie Jamie Cohen (Rye, NY) will also compete for a National Singles Title after playing in the No. 1 spot in her first collegiate season. Cohen won both the singles and doubles titles at the Rolex Championship in the fall, and she repeated that feat at the New England Showcase in April. The first-year had remained undefeated throughout both the fall and spring seasons until her final match, falling in the semifinals of the New England Championship in October and to Skidmore in the Final Four. Cohen did not compete against Gustavus Adolphus.

Individual competition will begin tomorrow at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The Tournament will conclude on Monday, May 11.

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