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The Athenas will reunite for another national championship celebration at the White House
The Athenas will reunite for another national championship celebration at the White House

National Champion CMS Women's Tennis Team to Visit White House on Monday

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's tennis team will attend the White House on Monday to take part in College Athlete Day, which will honor various NCAA national championship teams from the 2022-23 academic year. 

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host College Athlete Day on the South Lawn of the White House for a new event which was created this year. It has been customary in the past for the NCAA Division I champions in football, men's basketball and women's basketball to receive White House invitations, as well as the champions of professional sports leagues.

College Athlete Day, meanwhile, will provide a new opportunity for dozens of collegiate national championship teams to make the journey to Washington, D.C. The NCAA sponsors 90 championship events across its three divisions in 24 different sports. 

The CMS women's tennis team was invited to attend after winning its second straight national title on May 17, defeating Chicago 5-3 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida. The Athenas were tested several times during their quest to repeat, including a 5-4 comeback win over Pomona-Pitzer in the NCAA Regional Finals in Dallas, Texas on May 7, and a 5-4 win over Amherst in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Orlando on May 14. 

CMS has now won three national championships in the last four tournaments it has participated in, winning the program's first one in 2018 at home at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center (5-4 over Emory), and then defeating Chicago in each of the last two, both of which were held in Orlando. In between, CMS was the national runner-up in 2019, falling 5-4 to Wesleyan (Conn.) in the finals, and missed the 2020 and 2021 tournaments due to the pandemic. 

The Athenas finished the 2022-23 season with a 27-1 overall record and a 7-0 record in the SCIAC, taking the league title for the tenth straight season. CMS also ended the year with a 23-match winning streak, following its only loss to Chicago at the Intercolleigate Tennis Association Indoor Championship in March, which it went on to avenge in the national championship. 

The CMS roster in 2022-23 had nine players, each of whom received invitations to attend the White House ceremony, along with Head Coach David Schwarz and assistant coaches Caitlin Bernard, Angela Kulikov and Lauren Yoon. Among the student-athletes, Nikolina Batoshvili, Sena Selby and Audrey Yoon were juniors on this season's squad, Ella Brissett, Alisha Chulani and Arushi Malik were sophomores, and Olivia Almy, Lindsay Eisenman and Katherine Wurster were first-years. Chulani and Malik are students at Harvey Mudd College, while the other seven CMS student-athletes attend Claremont McKenna College.