Collins, McDonald win NCAA individual tennis championships
TULSA, Okla. (AP) Mackenzie McDonald became the first player in 15 years to pull off a double national championship.
About four hours after he upset top-seeded Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State 6-3, 6-3, to win the NCAA men's singles title, McDonald and UCLA teammate Martin Redlicki beat Arthur Rinderknech and Jackson Withrow of Texas A&M to claim the doubles championship Monday.
Earlier, Danielle Collins of Virginia defeated top-seeded Hayley Carter of North Carolina 6-3, 6-2 for her second NCAA women's tennis national championship.
McDonald is the first player since Matias Boeker of Georgia in 2001 (and fifth since 1974) to win both titles.
''I'm really happy with this accomplishment, it's unbelievable,'' McDonald said. ''I always wanted to win something for UCLA and to bring back two trophies for them this year is really cool to me.''
In the women's final, Carter (47-5) battled back from 3-0 to tie the first set 3-3, but Collins won the next three games to take the set. Collins (38-4), seeded second, led 5-1 in the second set and clinched to become the seventh two-time women's champion.
''I knew I was going to have to play my absolute best to beat her,'' said Collins, who became the only women's singles champion from Virginia when she won her first title in 2014. ''I feel like it's harder winning it the second time than it was the first time. It's pretty sweet to go out of my college career winning a national championship again.''
It was the third time this season the two ACC rivals faced each other but the first time they finished. They last played on May 19 but did not complete their match because Virginia had already clinched a 4-2 team win in the round of 16.
''Hayley is such a tough competitor and she gets every ball back, she never gives up, so a lot of the matches we've played in the past have been close,'' said Collins, who owns a 4-2 career edge over Carter.
In the men's singles final, McDonald, 22-1 and seeded sixth, lost the first game on deuce point but won the next four and never let up. In the second set, Torpegaard (34-5) pulled to 4-3, but McDonald was able to close it out with two more close games.
''It feels unbelievable,'' said McDonald, the 12th UCLA champion. ''I've always dreamed of this moment and to actually have the trophy in my hands, it's pretty surreal. There were a lot of deuce games and I had to stay mentally tough. He really pushed me.''
McDonald then had a break of about two hours at the team hotel before having to get back on the court for doubles.
''Right when I got back, Marty got me in the right mindset and we just did what we needed to do, before the match, and really took care of business on the court,'' McDonald said.
In that match, the unseeded duo from Texas A&M pulled to within 5-4 in the first set, but McDonald and Redlicki won the next game. A&M took the first game of the second set, but the Bruins' tandem, seeded second, reeled off wins in six straight to win it.
''There's a lot of emotion running right now,'' Redlicki said. ''Out on the court, you tell yourself all the time, `One point at a time, just focus on the point and don't let the moment get to you,' but it's challenging.''
In women's doubles, third-seeded Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan of Florida won the national championship, 6-2, 6-0, over California's No. 4 seeded pairing of Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr.
The Florida duo lost to a different Cal pairing (Klara Fabikova and Zsofi Susanyi) in last year's national semifinal after squandering a 4-1 lead in the third set and used the stinging memory of that defeat as motivation all season.
It was the second straight year California lost in the doubles final.