USC's Lindsey Nelson Earns Second Honda Award Nomination|
May 29, 2007
After another season of turning heads and tacking up wins all the way to the NCAA Women's Singles final, USC junior Lindsey Nelson has been nominated once again for the 2006-07 Tennis Honda Sports Award. A junior who racked up a 31-8 overall singles record this season, Nelson propelled her way to a second straight appearance in the NCAA singles title match. In doing so, Nelson secured herself as a Honda Award finalist along with NCAA champion Audra Cohen of Miami and NCAA semifinalists Megan Falcon of LSU and Zuzana Zemenova of Baylor. The winner of the women's tennis Honda Sports Award is scheduled to be announced on June 5 by Collegiate Women Sports Awards, with that winner then becoming a candidate for the Honda-Broderick Cup - presented to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
Now having reached the NCAA final twice in her career, Nelson shines as only the second USC player all-time to have even appeared in the NCAA singles title match, as Beth Herr won the NCAA championship in 1983. Nelson also is now one of only three Women of Troy to be named a Honda Award finalist and the only Trojan to have earned the honor twice in her career. Anna Maria Fernandez was the first and only USC player to win the award - having done so in 1981 before NCAA competition began for women's tennis - and Herr was a finalist in 1983.
In her 2007 run to repeat Honda Award finalist status, Nelson plowed through two top-10 opponents - last year's Honda Award recipient Kristi Miller in the quarterfinals and then No. 2 Falcon in the semifinals - in order to secure her back-to-back trips to the 2007 final. There, Nelson came up against the nation's top-ranked player Cohen, who had faced just one 9-16 seeded player throughout the tournament until coming up against Nelson in the title match. Cohen turned things around late in the first set to work her way to the championship victory over Nelson, but Nelson's all-out strength in the season still stands out for the junior.
Nelson began the 2007 dual match season ranked No. 20 in the nation, but quickly climbed to rank No. 5 entering the NCAA Championships. She earned the No. 4 seed into the singles tournament following her winning efforts through Pac-10 Conference play, where she rolled to win the Pac-10 Singles Championship after topping her 2006 NCAA Singles Championship opponent Susie Babos. With the Pac-10 crown providing some additional momentum, Nelson dished out a three-set win to open NCAA Singles competition before refusing to give up a single set through the next four rounds.
Playing at USC's No. 1 singles slot throughout most of the dual match season, Nelson posted a 14-6 dual match singles mark in helping the Women of Troy to their 16th straight trip to the NCAA Team Championships. The Pac-10 singles champ was named the 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year, capturing All-Pac-10 First Team honors for the third consecutive season
A creative writing major, Nelson has also upheld a strong GPA, carrying a 3.13 GPA after her junior year.