In a clash between the best two players in NCAA women's tennis this year, Virginia senior Danielle Collins prevailed to win her second NCAA singles title, 6-3, 6-2, over North Carolina's Hayley Carter. Collins previously won the NCAA Singles title in 2014 as a sophomore.
Collins was the #2 seeded player in the singles tournament, while Carter was the top seed.
Collins took control of a cautious first set by breaking Carter's serve at 4-3, and then served out the set. Collins broke Carter again in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Collins held on her next service game, and then broke Carter again with a vicious forehand return of a second serve on the 40-40 point. Collins held serve to make the match 5-1, and force Carter to hold serve to stay in the match. Carter held on another 40-40 point after rallying from 0-30 down. Carter carried the momentum over into Collin's service game, getting a triple break point at 15-40, only to have it slip away. On the 40-40 point, Collins successfully navigated the notorious Tulsa winds to get her first serve in, and then hit several shots deep in the court that kept Carter on her heels and eventually forced a mishit that clinched the title for the Cavalier.
Carter and Collins had met previously seven times in their collegiate careers, with Collins holding a 3-2 edge. Two meetings were in postseason play and ended unfinished, including earlier in the team event. In that matchup, Carter was on the verge of a three set victory over Collins when Virginia clinched the match.
The victory is especially valuable for Collins as she embarks on a professional career this summer. Along with the title comes a wild card entry into the US Open. Last year, first round participants in the tournament received $39,500 in prize money. In her appearance in 2014, Collins won the first set over #2 seed Simona Halep in the first round before losing in three sets.