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Vanderbilt Women Lead Southern Collegiate Charge

The Commodores celebrate the school's first women's tennis crown.
May 26, 2015 05:49 PM

By James I. Pressley/Special to USTA Southern

Commodores rout No. 7 UCLA for first school tennis title.

After having to pull off a semifinal upset over top-seeded USC, the Vanderbilt Commodores earned their first NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship, fighting off the UCLA Bruins 4-2 in Waco at Baylor University.

The tournament's No. 4 seed last made the final in 2001, after losing 4-0 to Stanford. After obtaining the team title, the senior/freshman duo of Ashleigh Antal of Wilmington, NC and Astra Sharma made their first appearance in any NCAA individual tournament; earning All-American status en route the quarterfinals. The tandem is the first Vanderbilt team to earn All-American honors in eight years.

Pirates exact revenge to cap perfect season

In a rematch of the 2014 national title match, the Armstrong State University Lady Pirates (Ga.) extended their NCAA Division II record for most national championships to nine after topping the Barry Bucs 5-2 in Surprise, Ariz.

The long-time powerhouse Pirates entered the tournament top-ranked and unbeaten before avenging their heart breaking 5-4 loss to Barry in the 2014 final. Armstrong now owns won three of the last four NCAA Division II national titles and six of the past eight.

Grizzlies remain tog dog in NAIA; Warhawks win 10th crown in 12 years

The undisputed No. 1 team in the country, the Georgia Gwinnett men's tennis team, remained undefeated after their 5-0 victory in a rematch of last year’s championship over Embry-Riddle to win a second consecutive NAIA National Championship in Mobile, AL.

The Grizzlies now own an 8-0 all-time record in NAIA Championship matches after posting an overall regular season record of 16-2 and a 9-0 mark against NAIA competition.

Connor Clements of Charleston, S.C finished the tournament as the only Grizzly to register a singles win in all four of the matches heading in to the final. Head Coach Chase Hodges was awarded the NAIA and ITA National Coach of the Year awards for a second consecutive season.

On the ladies side, the Georgia Gwinnett women’s team came up short of repeating as national champs after falling to Auburn Montgomery (AL) 5-4 in the championship match. The win gave the Warhawks their 14th NAIA national championship, fourth in five years and 10th in a 12-year span.  The Warhawks finished their 2015 season with an overall record 23-4, after starting out 0-2.

Oxford earns fifth national title

Oxford-Emory (Ga.) beat out 11 other teams from across the country in the competition to earn the 2015 NJCAA Men's National Tournament in Plano, Tex.

Oxford maintained their dominance during play winning seven out of nine flights, including all six flights of singles. Victories leading to the championship for the Eagles came from Southern players Peter Higgins of Vidalia, Ga, Ian Lu of Johns Creek, Ga. and Shams Sohani of Chattanooga, TN. Higgins, Lu, and Sohani were also named First Team All-Americans.

With every member of the Oxford team advancing to the finals of all their flights, the Eagles finished with a total of 37 points, topping defending champs, Rowan Gloucester (NJ)’s score of 24 points.

Pernilla Hardin, the team’s head coach, was named NJCAA Division III Men’s Coach of the Year.

Crimson Tide duo wins back-to-back national titles

Alabama's Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe became only the second doubles team in the history of NCAA women's tennis to win consecutive NCAA doubles titles after defeating Cal's Klara Fabikova and Zsofi Susanyi 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3.

The pairing ended their dual match season with a 19-2 record, 9-1 in SEC conference play and ranked No. 1 in the ITA Division I Doubles Rankings. Jansen and Routliffe defeated three top-10 teams en route to the final, also carrying a 15 match winning streak through conference play. They are the first doubles team to repeat as champions since 1999.

Tornado warning does not faze Loeb

Despite having to move the match to an indoor venue due to approaching lightning and rain, not even the announcement of a tornado warning could stop North Carolina's Jamie Loeb from becoming the first NCAA women singles tennis champion in school history after beating No. 2 Carol Zhao of Stanford 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

Loeb’s win became justification from the 2014 season after reaching the team final, losing to UCLA, and falling in the quarterfinals of the singles tournament as the No. 1 seed, despite finishing the year ranked No. 1 in the country.

The sophomore Tar Heel denied Zhao and Stanford its 15th women's singles title. Loeb finished the year with a 31-5 singles record.

History slips off the racquet of Rubin

Trying to become only the third freshman to win the NCAA men’s singles title, Noah Rubin of Wake Forest succumbed to the booming serves and forehands of Virginia's Ryan Shane, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1.

The ITA Rookie Player of the Year held a 5-0 lead over Shane before the match headed indoors due to inclement weather. Rubin served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but could not close for the victory, letting Shane run away with the tie-breaker and third set.

Rubin made ACC history this year by becoming the first player to win ACC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Rubin finished with a 21-3 record this season at Wake Forest, and 13-3 mark against nationally ranked opponents.

Kjellberg and Sikh fall short of Division II title; Shin steals Emory’s shine.

Robert Kjellberg and Sebastian Sikh of North Carolina Wesleyan fell just short in their bid for the school's first NCAA Division III National Championship, dropping a three-set heartbreaker to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ Joe Dorn and Warren Wood 6-3, 6-7, 4-6 in the doubles title match.

Seeking their seventh NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championship, No. 2 Emory had to wait just under five hours to have Williams’ Linda Shin of Johns Creek, GA give the No. 1 team the 5-4 win.

The Ephs sophomore prevailed in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, over Emory’s Beatrice Rosen at No. 2 singles to give Williams the edge and their seventh NCAA title in the past eight years. The final match was Emory's 10th appearance in the national championship match and third in a row.

 

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