Collins claims NCAA Singles Title with 2-0 win
Sophomore is first player to win singles championship in Virginia women's history
Virginia sophomore women’s tennis player Danielle Collins made her mark on history this past Memorial Day, defeating California freshman Lynn Chi 6-2, 7-5 in the NCAA Singles Final to become the first ever Cavalier women’s player to win the singles title. No one from Virginia had ever reached the quarterfinals or further before this season.
The two traded games in the opening of the first set, only separated by one after five games. But Collins then broke away, winning three straight games to take the set 6-2. Chi jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second, but Collins battled back to tie it at 3-3. The players went back and forth up to 5-5, then Collins won the last two games, taking the set 7-5 and the title match 2-0.
Entering the tournament ranked No. 32, Collins defeated five higher-ranked players in six matches. The only lower-ranked player she faced was No. 43 senior Veronica Corning of Northwestern in the opening round. Her run included victories against players ranked at No. 18, No. 2, No. 7, No. 27, and finally No. 24 with Chi.
The singles championship capped off arguably the best year in Virginia women’s tennis history. The Cavaliers won their first ever ACC Championship with an exciting 4-2 win against Duke in the conference final, and posted a program-best 21-5 record heading into the NCAA Tournament. Bearing a No. 3 seed — another high mark for the program — Virginia advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to No. 11 Stanford. This was the first season the team reached the last 8 — having fallen in the round of 16 in each of the last three seasons.
The Cavaliers will enter next season with two returning All-Americans in Collins and fellow sophomore Julia Elbaba from this year’s record-breaking roster.