Monday, May 27, 2013

Stanford's Gibbs repeats as NCAA singles champ

Nicole Gibbs, facing Serena Williams in the second round of
last year's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, ended her
  outstanding collegiate career today. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The Stanford women's program has had many great players in its storied history. They include Kathy Jordan, Sacramento natives Alycia Moulton and Patty Fendick, and Amber Liu.
   Add Nicole Gibbs to the list.
   Gibbs completed one of the greatest careers in school history, defeating fellow No. 9-16 seed Mary Weatherholt of Nebraska 6-2, 6-4 today in Urbana, Ill., for her second straight NCAA singles title.
   Gibbs became the first woman to repeat since Liu in 2003 and 2004. Liu is married to International Tennis Hall of Famer Michael Chang. Steve Johnson of USC won the 2011 and 2012 men's singles titles, completing his eligibility and turning pro.
   Gibbs also became:
   --The second Stanford player to win an NCAA team, singles and doubles title in her career. She led the Cardinal to the team title last week and teamed with Mallory Burdette to capture the 2012 doubles crown. Also accomplishing the feat was Linda Gates, who won team championships in 1982 and 1984, the singles title in 1985 and doubles crowns in 1984 and 1985.
   --The first woman to play on the championship team and win the singles crown in the same season since Duke's Mallory Cecil in 2009 at College Station, Texas.
   "I'm so happy to have won both the team and singles title," Gibbs, from Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area, said on gostanford.com. "But it was so sweet to win with the team. No memory can replace that."
  Gibbs has one more year of eligibility but said earlier this spring that she will turn pro. She's already ranked No. 177 in the world. 
   Gibbs (24-4) won all six of her NCAA singles matches this year in straight sets and ended the year with a 14-match winning streak. Weatherholt (30-2), a senior from Prairie Village, Kan., had lost only one set entering the final.
   Weatherholt reportedly hyperextended her right knee late in the second set and was able to continue playing only after it had been heavily taped. She has had surgery on the knee three times, most recently last  September.  
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
In Urbana, Ill.
Women's singles final
   Nicole Gibbs (9-16), Stanford, def. Mary Weatherholt (9-16), Nebraska, 6-2, 6-4.
Men's singles final
   Blaz Rola (9-16), Ohio State, def. Jarmere Jenkins (3), Virginia, 7-6 (8), 6-4.
Women's doubles final
   Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria (2), USC, def. Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton, UCLA, 6-4, 6-3.
Men's doubles final
   Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger (4), Virginia, def. Chris Camillone and David Holiner, Texas, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

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