CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Texas sophomore Peyton Stearns posted an impressive 6-3, 6-2 victory against Connie Ma of Stanford in the finals of the NCAA Singles Championships on Saturday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. Stearns became the first player in Texas Women’s Tennis history to claim the NCAA singles title.
After leading the Longhorns to their second-straight NCAA team title last Sunday evening, Stearns became the first woman to win the NCAA team and singles title in the same year since Nicole Gibbs of Stanford in 2013. Stearns is just the fifth woman to accomplish the impressive double since 2000, as she joins Laura Granville of Stanford (2001), Amber Liu of Stanford (2004), Mallory Cecil of Duke (2009) and Gibbs (2013). Stearns also advanced to the NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals with partner Allura Zamarripa.
Tied at 3-3 in the opening set of Saturday’s title match, Stearns held serve and earned a service break to take a 5-3 advantage. She then rallied from down 30-40 to hold serve on a deuce point in the following game and close out the 6-3 first-set victory.
Stearns opened the second set with a break of Ma and held serve to grab a 2-0 lead. After Ma held serve on a deuce point to trim the margin to 2-1, Stearns held her serve and claimed a service break in the following game to build a 4-1 cushion. Stearns held serve on a deuce point to increase her lead to 5-1, before Ma held serve to make it 5-2. Stearns then held serve again to finish the match.
With the victory, Stearns concluded her sophomore season with a 33-2 overall record in singles play.
NCAA Women’s Singles Championship
Championship Match – May 28
#2 Peyton Stearns (UT) def. #26 Connie Ma (Stanford), 6-3, 6-2