Florida Shelton and Texas Stearns win NCAA tennis titles

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Ben Shelton rallied to beat August Holmgren of San Diego to give back-to-back men’s singles national championships to Florida and Peyton Stearns of Texas won the women’s title with a straight-set victory over Connie Ma from Stanford on Saturday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Stearns, a sophomore and No. 2 seed, avenged one of only two losses of the season by beating Ma 6-3, 6-2. The unranked freshman beat Stearns 7-6(7), 2-6, 6-2 in February as the Cardinal beat Texas 5-2. Stearns, who has dropped just one of 11 sets at the championships, finished her season 33-2, with her other loss to Virginia’s Emma Navarro as Texas – who won their second consecutive women’s tag team title on Sunday last – beat the Cavaliers 4-2 in the quarterfinals of NCAA team competition.

Stearns won the program’s first singles title and became the first Texas woman to make a finals appearance since 1995.

Second-seeded Shelton beat No. 6 Holmgren 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The Gators became the first men’s tennis program since 2004-05 to see different competitors win back-to-back titles. Sam Riffice of Florida defeated Daniel Rodriques of South Carolina 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to win the 2021 title.

Cleeve Harper and Richard Ciamarra of Texas defeated Matej Vocel and Robert Cash of Ohio State 5-7, 6-4, 10-7 in the men’s doubles championship.

Top seeds Jaeda Daniel and Nell Miller of NC State defeated Daevenia Achong and Eden Richardson of Miami, 6-2, 7-5 to claim the Wolfpack’s first women’s doubles title.

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