Lindsey Nelson Fights Way Into NCAA Singles Quarterfinals|
May 26, 2006
PALO ALTO, CALIF. - USC's Lindsey Nelson posted a big upset win over top-seeded Audra Cohen of Miami in Friday's NCAA Women's Singles Round of 16 at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center. Nelson next faces Stanford's #34 Celia Durkin in the NCAA Singles Quarterfinals at 12 p.m. on Saturday (May 27). Nelson is the lone Trojan to advance in the NCAA Championships after Round of 16 losses for Amanda Fink in singles and the two doubles teams of Luana Magnani /Nelson and Dianne Matias / Carine Vermeulen.
Ranked #2 in the nation, Cohen had given #18 Nelson a tough match during their NCAA Team Semifinal clash at the No. 1 singles position. That match was suspended in the third set with Miami's 4-1 team win, but Nelson made sure to outlast her Hurricane opponent in their second meeting of the NCAA action. Nelson's win puts the sophomore in her first appearance in the NCAA Singles Quarterfinals, as she lost in the Round of 16 last year as a freshman.
"It was a really good match and I fought so hard," Nelson said of the match. "We both played really well, it was just who had enough heart to finish it. I wanted it so bad."
Nelson staged a powerful comeback in the first set against Cohen, trailing 2-1 and then tacking up five straight games to claim an early lead. In the second set, however, match point eluded Nelson, as Cohen pulled out a comeback win of her own.
"It was heartbreaking at first," Nelson said of dropping the second set. "I was really upset and disappointed with myself because I got a little nervous, a little tentative. But I convinced myself that I could do it again in the third and that it's ok, I can stay out here all day... If I had gone into the third set moping and really upset, she would have killed me. She would have beaten me 6-0. But I didn't, I just stayed in there and played my game."
Nelson settled in for the match win in the third set, not letting match point escape her for an eventual 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory that launches Nelson into her first appearance in the NCAA Singles Quarterfinals. There, Nelson will take on Stanford's #34 Celia Durkin, who downed Baylor's #16 Zuzana Cerna in the Round of 16.
Fink had her hands full in her Round of 16 singles match against Stanford's #10 Teresa Logar. The USC freshman got in a 6-0, 3-0 hole before finally breaking Logar for a point. Fink got one more game off of Logar, but the Cardinal held serve to end the match with a 6-0, 6-2 win. The loss closes out Fink's stellar freshman season at USC with a 40-12 overall record. Fink was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and the ITA National Rookie Player of the Year this season.
In doubles competition, #28 Dianne Matias / Carine Vermeulen came up against #7 Sainz/Winterhalter from Fresno State for their Round of 16 match. After slipping in the first set, the Trojan duo pulled out a tight second-set victory. The Women of Troy could not close out the match, ending their NCAA doubles campaign with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 loss to the seventh-ranked Fresno State pair. Matias/Vermeulen finish the season with a 17-9 overall record as a doubles team.
After a rest following her singles victory, Nelson rejoined teammate Luana Magnani on the doubles scene to take on Georgia Tech's #10 Miller/Shosho. With the nation's top-ranked singles player in Kristi Miller on the other side of the net, Magnani and Nelson had trouble getting ahead of the Georgia Tech pair, falling 6-4, 6-2 to end USC's run in the NCAA Doubles Championships. Magnani/Fink end their successful doubles run with a 23-8 overall record.