May 26, 2014
ATHENS, Ga.----Champions were crowned on a day as bright as newly shined scepter on the concluding day of competition in the NCAA Tennis Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
In an electric Henry Feild Stadium six athletes from four different institutions claimed singles and doubles championships as the 12 day event at the Mecca of college tennis built to a crescendo.
Marcos Giron, the second seeded UCLA Bruin, clinched the singles championship as he scored a victory over Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine. Giron put on an impressive display to prove a worthy champion as he blew past the battling Sarkissian after establishing a first set advantage. A 6-4 first set victory set up Giron for an impressive conclusion as he dropped only one game in the final set of men’s singles action to seal his championship 6-4, 6-1.
In the women’s final Danielle Collins gave Virginia its first ever women’s singles championship as she defeated Lynn Chi of California. Collins overcame a real battle from Chi in a match that brought the crowd to its feet on multiple occasions. The first set score line proved deceptive as Chi kept every game close without being able to force the crucial break. It was Collins who found the perfect shot at the right occasion to open up a comfortable first set score line. She also claimed the crucial break in the second set to claim her school’s first women’s singles title by a score of 6-2, 7-5.
Alabama claimed the Crimson Tide’s first tennis championship of any kind with a dominate victory over the Georgia duo of Maho Kowase and Lauren Herring. The No.4 seeded duo of Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe blew past the second seeded Bulldogs with a display of ferocious power. A dominant first set performance, in which the Bulldogs only claimed one game, was topped by a love score in the second set with the Crimson Tide pair sealing a 6-1, 6-0 victory.
In perhaps the hardest fought match of the entire tournament, Tennessee claimed the doubles championship with a three set tiebreaker victory over Ohio State. The Volunteers duo of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese seemed to have missed their opportunity as they failed to convert multiple championship points before Metka and Kobelt regained serve and stood two points away from the title. Libietis and Reese however broke back to convert their fifth championship point and sealed a 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 7-6(6) victory.
These results concluded a tournament that, to the surprise of many coaches, will not return to Athens until 2017. The 2015 version of the tournament will be hosted in the impressive new Hurd Tennis Center at Baylor.