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National

Americans win NCAA DI tennis championships singles titles for second year in a row

Dan Levinsohn | May 28, 2022


Florida's Ben Shelton. Credit: Paige Apkarian/Illinois

 

The University of Florida’s No. 1 seed Ben Shelton and the University of Texas’ No. 2 seed Peyton Stearns won the men’s and women’s 2022 NCAA DI Tennis Championships singles titles at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Champaign, Ill. on Saturday. It’s the second consecutive year two American players have clinched individual titles.

 

Stearns, originally from Mason, Ohio, had already tasted NCAA victory in 2022: Last weekend, she and her Texas Longhorn teammates won the DI championship over Oklahoma. It was Texas’ second straight national title.

Only five other women have won the singles and team title in the same year, most recently Stanford’s Nicole Gibbs in 2013. 

 

Today, Stearns swept Stanford’s Connie Ma, 6-3, 6-2. Stearns and Ma were tied at 3-3 in the first set. The sophomore held serve and won a break point. Stearns took the opener after holding serve at 5-3. She immediately broke Ma in the second set.     

 

Stearns is the first player in her school’s history to win a women’s championship title. 

 

Shelton, a sophomore whose father Bryan is the men’s tennis coach, fought hard in a three-setter against San Diego’s No. 6 seed, August Holmgren. After dropping a close opening set, Shelton upped his game for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.  

 

Florida’s team captain Sam Riffice won the individual title in 2021, and advanced to the semifinals this year.  

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