Virginia's Danielle Collins, UCLA's Marcos Giron Claim NCAA Singles Titles, Alabama and Tennessee Win Doubles Championships
by Colette Lewis
, 30 May 2014
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It was NCAA singles title No. 1 for Virginia and No. 11 for UCLA, as Cavalier Danielle Collins and Bruin Marcos Giron stood alone at the end of six hot and humid days of NCAA Division I singles competition at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia.
Danielle Collins of Virginia
overcame injury to win the NCAA Singles Title
The surprises began early for the men, who lost seven of the top eight seeds on opening day, including No. 1 Clay Thompson of UCLA, who fell to Roberto Cid of South Florida
6-4, 6-3. The women's draw stayed on course until the quarterfinals, when all four of the remaining seeds, including top seed Jamie Loeb of North Carolina
, lost to unseeded opponents.
Cal's Lynn Chi, who had saved a match point in her first round win, defeated Loeb 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 and went on to reach the final with a tense 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) victory over Georgia State's Abigail Tere-Apisah, who had beaten Duke's Beatrice Capra, seeded No. 5, in the quarterfinals.
Collins had earned her place in the final with a 6-1, 6-4 decision over No. 2 seed Robin Anderson of UCLA in the third round, a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 quarterfinal win over No. 7 seed Hayley Carter of North Carolina and another victory over an ACC rival, Ester Goldfeld of Duke, in the semifinals.
Collins, a 20-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida, had had difficulty closing out those matches, but she spared herself that frustration in the final against Chi. After winning the first set by claiming the final three games, primarily with her lethal returns, Collins found herself down 3-1 and 5-3 in the second set, with Chi finding her rhythm and doing some effective returning of her own. But Chi couldn't push the match to a third set, catching the tape on her shots four times while serving for the set at 5-4. That's when Collins took her game up a notch, breaking Chi in the final game.
"Once I got down I just got really angry," said Collins, who loved the hot and humid Florida-like weather. "I was like, okay, let's get it together, let's step it up and I just really got on a roll. It's incredible, but I still can't believe it. It's still really shocking to me. I'm really caught off guard to be honest."
Ranked No. 32 in the country and playing the No. 2 position at Virginia after transferring there from Florida last summer, Collins was hardly a favorite for the title, but her coach, Mark Guilbeau, saw signs she was capable of competing among the best.