That wasnâ€™t the case, however, last week and again Monday against (continued from page 28) Weatherholt, a senior All-American and winningest player in Nebraska were treated to another dominating history who entered the champiperformance by one of the storied onship match with only one loss. programâ€™s all-time greats. Becom- Weatherholtâ€™s tourney resume was ing Stanfordâ€™s 16th all-time colle- also impressive, including victogiate singles champion (14 NCAA, ries over Calâ€™s Klara Fabikova and 2 AIAW), Gibbs collected her 111th UCLAâ€™s Robin Anderson, an opcareer victory and will leave behind ponent who handed Gibbs one of a legacy of elite her four losses in tennis. 2013. Gibbs, who â€œIt was a little earlier this spring bit unsettling to publicly voiced play such a darkher decision to horse on such a turn pro and forgo big stage and imher senior year, portant venue,â€? will now focus Gibbs said. â€œI on elevating her scouted her a litgame to the next tle bit through the level. For the last end of the week two weeks in Urwatching how bana, and really she was winning since the day she her points. Sheâ€™s first stepped foot Nicole Gibbs celebrates title. a very solid player, on The Farm, itâ€™s been evident the hits a flat ball, so (Stanford coach) two-time NCAA singles champion Lele (Forood) and I went out after is simply on another level than her my match yesterday and just pracopponents. ticed fielding those lower balls, and And she kept her level of play high thatâ€™s the only way I knew how to despite an injury this year. prepare for today.â€? â€œI had kind of a tough season,â€? Then again, why should Gibbs be Gibbs said. â€œI ended the summer intimidated by any college player? with an abdominal injury that kept After all, sheâ€™s battled Serena Wilme out, to varying degrees, of the liams on her home court inside the fall season. I played a couple pro Taube Family Tennis Stadium and tournaments, but I wasnâ€™t playing has since continued to compete in anything in college. When I came pro tournaments with the objective back, I wasnâ€™t nearly as dominant of gaining experience and improvas I had been at the one position at ing her ranking. my school.â€? Gibbs bolted out to a 4-1 lead in
the first set and closed out the frame 6-2 after she and Weatherholt alternated games. Early momentum favored Weatherholt in the second set, racing to a 2-0 lead and handing Gibbs her first multi-game deficit in several days. Gibbs battled back to 2-2, only to see Weatherholt move back in front 3-2. After Gibbs evened the match at 3-3, Weatherholt required attention from the trainers and it became clear she was not at full strength. The Cornhusker has battled injury during her career, redshirting the 2010-11 campaign after suffering an ACL tear. Tied at 4-4 in the second set, Gibbs found another gear and closed out the match 6-4. Gibbs is only the second Stanford player to win an NCAA team, singles and doubles title in her career, teaming with Mallory Burdette to capture the 2012 doubles crown. Also accomplishing the feat was Linda Gates (Team: 1982, 1984, Singles: 1985, Doubles: 1984, 1985). Mondayâ€™s singles title was the fourth career for Gibbs, who last year claimed the NCAA Championships, Pac-12 Championships and ITA Northwest Regional Championships. Gibbs also became the first player to capture the NCAA team and singles title in the same year since Dukeâ€™s Mallory Cecil (2009) in College Station, Texas. N (Brian Risso is a member of the Stanford Sports Information staff)
Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs became the first player to win back-toback NCAA singles titles since Stanfordâ€™s Amber Liu in 2003-04.
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