ST. PETER, MN - Amherst College senior Alicia Menezes (Staten Island, NY) and sophomore Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) paired to win their second straight national championship in the NCAA Division III Doubles Tournament this afternoon. The Lord Jeff pair defeated opponents from Emory and Denison in the national semifinal and final today to repeat as national champions.
Menezes and Berckes entered the tournament as the overall third seed this week, after winning the program's first national pairs championship last spring. The two teammates roared through the first two rounds of play, before facing Emory's Tshema Nash and Sabra Rogers in the semifinals this afternoon.
Nash and Rogers took the first set from Menezes and Berckes 6-3, before the Amherst combo responded with a convincing pair of sets. Menezes and Berckes rolled in the second and third frames, 6-3 and 6-3.
The win put Menezes and Berckes back into the National Championship match, where they would have to face Denison's Kristin Cobb and Marta Drane, who advanced from the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Carnegie Mellon's top pair.
In the first set of the championship match, the two sides traded blow for blow, sitting tied at 3-3 after the first six games. Starting with a Menezes service win in the next game, the Lord Jeff pair won three of four games to take the first set 6-4.
The second set started in similar fashion, with the two sides rolling out a pair of game wins to sit at 2-2. From that point on, the experienced Amherst tandem took over, running away for a 6-3 result. With the final game, set, and match, Amherst's Menezes and Berckes were once again National Champions.
In 2007, the pair needed a third set to win the national championship, but today, they made quick work for their second consecutive title. For the senior, Menezes, the doubles championship appearance is the third in four years, and with a second crown allows her to go out on top. With Menezes' upcoming graduation, Berckes will have to look for a new doubles teammate next year for a "three-peat" bid.
Complete championship information, including complete brackets and links to live statistics and live video Webcasts of the singles and doubles finals, can be found at the Gustavus Adolphus College NCAA Women's Tennis Championship Website.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, May 16
9 a.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Round of 32
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Round of 16
3 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Round of 32
Saturday, May 17
9 a.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Quarterfinals
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Semifinals
3 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Quarterfinals
Sunday, May 18
12 p.m. - Men's and Women's Singles Finals
2 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Semifinals
4 p.m. - Men's and Women's Doubles Finals