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Vanderbilt beats defending champ UCLA to win first title

2015 Division I Women’s Tennis

Vanderbilt University had not reached the Division I women’s tennis championship match since 2001. The University of California, Los Angeles, the Commodores’ opponent in this year’s final, was making its sixth appearance over that span, a run that included two titles (2008 and 2014). But inexperience didn’t hinder the Commodores – they defeated UCLA, 4-2, on May 19 in Waco, Texas, earning the program’s first NCAA crown.

“The seniors on that team had been to four straight final fours,” Vanderbilt coach Geoff Macdonald said of the Bruins. “We were in new water for us. I have to say, hats off to my team for handling an incredibly large moment with class, guts and great spirit.”

Courtney Colton and Sydney Campbell got Vanderbilt started on the right foot with an 8-3 win over Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady. But then UCLA’s Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips drew the Bruins even with an 8-5 victory over the team of Ashleigh Antal and Astra Sharma. So the point awarded for doubles play came down to Marie Casares and Frances Altick, who triumphed 8-5 over Chanelle Van Nguyen and Maia Magill.

The Commodores’ lead grew when Antal defeated Kaitlin Ray at No. 6 singles, but UCLA responded when top-ranked Anderson rolled Campbell in straight sets.

Colton put Vanderbilt on the doorstep of a title with a hard-fought 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Harrison, but Brady kept the Bruins alive with a similarly close 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory against Altick. In the end, Sharma closed the door by rallying for a three-set triumph over Van Nguyen at No. 2 singles.

The Results
2015 Division I Women’s Tennis

Vanderbilt 4, UCLA 2

Vanderbilt 4, Southern California 0
UCLA 4, Georgia 1

Jamie Loeb, North Carolina, def. Carol Zhao, Stanford, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1

Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe, Alabama, def. Klara Fabikova and Zsofi Susanyi, California, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3

Aldila Sutjiadi, Kentucky

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