In an occasional series looking back at the history of Randolph College athletics, we look at the teams that have made their mark on their respective programs. This article will reflect on the 1983 women's tennis ODAC championship team.
Randolph-Macon Women's College, as Randolph was then known by, was in its first year of competition in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The WildCats had a strong showing in 1982 as they only dropped once match all season. The 'Cats started the fall of 1982 with close decisions against Longwood and Mary Baldwin with scores of 5-4. The squad handled Emory and Henry 7-2. Next up was cross-city rival Lynchburg. The 5-4 decision favored LC. RMWC rebounded with wins over Hollins (5-4) and Randolph-Macon (7-2). After falling to defending national champion Mary Washington 9-0, the WildCats wrapped up the fall season by defeating Sweet Briar 6-3. The 'Cats were 6-2 despite dealing with injuries and illnesses. Then head coach Emily Ryals was satisfied with the fall results and looked forward to the spring.
The WildCats were deep as Ryals commented that players playing at first singles were now at fifth singles. RMWC handled VCU 8-1 to start the spring but dropped consecutive matches to Kalamazoo and Sweet Briar. The WIldCats rebounded with a 9-0 thumping of Roanoke and won their rematch with Lynchburg 6-3. Bad weather shortened the season and the ODAC Tournament would be next for the 'Cats.
In the tournament, the WIldCats won at first, fourth, fifth, and sixth singles. Ryals said "I knew we could do it but I didn't think we would pull this far ahead." The winners in singles were Mary Boggs at first, Martha McClerkin at second, Susan Davies at fourth, Becky Davis at fifth, and Libba Robertson at sixth. Boggs teamed up with McClerkin to win first doubles. Davis and Liz Montague were winners at third doubles.
Boggs was named the Player of the Year with Ryals taking Coach of the Year honors.
Head Coach Emily Ryals
1983 ODAC Championship Plaque