The victory over North Carolina is the team’s second NCAA championship and UCLA’s record-extending 111th
The UCLA women’s tennis team captured its second NCAA title and the 111th NCAA title in UCLA history after a 4-3 win over North Carolina Tuesday in Athens, Georgia. Sophomore Kyle McPhillips clinched the win with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Caroline Price at No. 3 singles.
The Bruins finished the season undefeated (29-0) in doubles play, capturing the doubles point on the strength of victories at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Catherine Harrison and McPhillips earned a quick 8-2 victory on court 2, and the nation’s top-ranked doubles team of Robin Anderson and Jennifer Brady defeated the No. 3 team of Hayley Carter and Jamie Loeb, 8-7 (7-3).
In a battle between the nation’s top two singles players, top-ranked Anderson gave UCLA a 2-0 advantage with a 6-2, 6-2 win over second-ranked Loeb. The Tar Heels tied it up, however, with straight-set victories on court two by Carter over Brady and on court five by Kate Vialle over Harrison.
The remaining three matches went to three sets. Chanelle Van Nguyen overcame a first-set loss to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 over Ashley Dai on court four to put UCLA ahead, 3-2. But the Tar Heels came back with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win on court six by Tessa Lyons over Kaitlin Ray, putting the championship squarely on the shoulders of the No. 3 singles players McPhillips and Price.
With McPhillips up a break at 5-3, the two players engaged in a back-and-forth battle that see-sawed over several match points and break points. Finally, on her fourth match point, McPhillips forced a Price volley to go long, clinching championship point for the Bruins.
UCLA’s victory was the second women’s tennis title in school history. Both championships were won under head coach Stella Sampras Webster. The Bruins’s first title was won in 2008. The championship was also UCLA’s second this academic year. In December, the Bruin women’s soccer team won its first-ever title. UCLA leads the nation with 111 NCAA team championships. (UCLA Athletics)