The college season 2015-2016 is in the books and all the various college divisions have determined their national champions. Most may have heard of NCAA Division 1 programs Virginia (M) and Stanford (W) adding yet another title to their collection of Championships. But what about tennis in NCAA D2, D3, and the NAIA? Find out all about it in our recap:
Before hundreds of student-athletes were off into their well-deserved summer break, college tennis determined its national team champions in all divisions in the end of May.
Today, we are going to highlight the finals of all Championships on the men's and women's side. Read on to find out which programs dominated the tournaments, which ones came just short of capturing the title, and see selected videos of the highlights!
Men's: Virginia vs Oklahoma
The "Cavaliers" repeated what they had accomplished the year before: defeating the Oklahoma "Sooners" with the same result of 4-1 and bringing home their third national title to Charlottesville. What could have been a spectacular career ending at Oklahoma for head coach John Roddick, brother to former ATP #1 Andy, turned out to be clear-cut win for the squad with 5 ranked players in their line-up. Roddick took on the position as head coach at the University of Central Florida.
Women's: Stanford vs Oklahoma State
Stanford. Again. For the 18th time in history. The "Cardinal" beat the "Cowgirls" 4-3, coming back from a 1-3 standing earlier in the match. Part of the 1-3 resulted from an almost-to-be-expected loss of the doubles point:
They were all but the favorite to win this season. Take a look at what Chris Brandi from Tennis Buffet thinks about Stanford's "DNA", programmed to win NCAA Titles: "Why Does Stanford Win Every Year?"
Men's: Hawaii Pacific vs Saint Leo
With Hawaii Pacific having been so close to winning the title too many times (5x runner-up to be precise), they finally finished what they have been so close to accomplishing before. In 2014 and 2015 they fell short in the finals: 3-5 against West Florida in '14 and 3-5 against Barry in '15. Now it was finally the "Shark's" time to turn that score line in their favor: with a 5-3 against the "Lions" from Saint Leo "The wait is finally over".
Women's: Armstrong State vs BYU-Hawaii
While the men from Hawaii Pacific boarded the plane as victors, the ladies from BYU Hawaii did the opposite, having lost 3-5 to Armstrong State. The final was a duel between the two teams with most national titles in the history of D2 tennis, with the lower seeded "Pirates" coming out stronger. Just like in 2015, the Armstrong State tennis program added yet another title to their collection, their tenth in program history.
Men's: Bowdoin vs Middlebury
Bowdoin College had the odds stacked against them before facing Middlebury in the final. The last seven matches were all won by Middlebury, but it was the squad from Bowdoin winning their first tennis championship ever with a 5-0 victory! The "Polar Bears" key to success was finally coming out of the doubles play with a lead - quite the opposite from the rounds before in which Bowdoin had to catch up with poor starts: a 0-3 deficit against Johns Hopkins in the QF (final score: 5-4) and a 1-2 deficit against Emory in the SF (final score: 5-4).
Women's: Emory vs Williams College
Different from the men's champion, Emory knows the feeling of winning a national championship! But they also know the feeling of coming short in the final, having lost 4-5 to Williams last season. The ladies from Williams ended up being the opposing team in the final again, but it was Emory who reversed last year's result to a 5-4 win - Emory's seventh title in women's tennis:
Men's: Georgia Gwinnett vs Xavier
Tennis was added to Georgia Gwinnett's athletic program three years ago and it's been a success story ever since: Third season - third consecutive title in a row. While they cruised through the opening rounds with straight wins against their opponents, they were challenged by runner-up Xavier, turning a 1-2 deficit after doubles play into a convincing 5-2 win.
Women's: Georgia Gwinnett vs Lindsey Wilson (KY)
On the women's side, the "Grizzlies" have done just the same: taking home the 2016 title to Lawrenceville, GA. Their second title in three years, winning the championship final was hard work. Opponent Lindsey Wilson took the lead after doubles play, but Georgia proved their impressive season one more time and turned the match around for a 5-4 victory!
Men's Winner: ASA Miami (D1) & Oxford Emory (D3)
In a format different from all the other championships, ASA Miami took the D1 title by a narrow margin over second ranked Seminole State. (9 flights are played with #1-#6 players competing, as well as #1-#3 doubles teams. Each win is worth points for the team's total. Although Seminole won most flights (5), ASA Miami won by 2 points difference. See the final results here. In Division 3, Oxford Emory dominated 8 our of 9 flights and won the national title with a huge margin ahead of Mercer County.
Women's Winner: ASA Miami (D1) & Oxford Emory (D3)
We have the same picture on the women's side with ASA Miami (D1) and the "Eagles" from Oxford Emory (D3) winning the titles.
(Note that the Division 3 women's championships were the only event that was already played in the autumn 2015.)
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