Another NCAA Title Tilt For Lindsey Nelson

May 27, 2007

ATHENS, GA. - After becoming just the second USC women's tennis player to reach the NCAA Singles final last season, junior Lindsey Nelson has replicated that run, barreling her way into the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship match with her 7-6 (2), 6-2 win over LSU's Megan Falcon in Sunday's semifinals. 2006 finalist Nelson now has the chance to go one step further, coming up against a fairly familiar opponent in the championship match on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. There, Nelson faces top-seeded Audra Cohen of Miami - a player Nelson has squared off against three times in the past two postseasons.

Now holding a 31-7 overall singles record behind a string of straight-set victories in NCAA singles competition, Nelson now prepares to upset Cohen and become the second USC player to be an NCAA Singles champion. Beth Herr was the only other Trojan to complete the task, winning the title in 1983.

To get to the top of the NCAA singles world, Nelson has to overcome top-ranked Cohen. It's a feat she has accomplished before. In the 2006 NCAA Team Championships, the pair battled to a suspended No. 1 singles match when the Hurricanes edged out the Women of Troy 4-1 in the NCAA Semifinals. Cohen had the slight edge in that suspended match 7-5, 4-6, 3-2, but when the pair faced again during the 2006 Singles Championships, Nelson dispatched Cohen in the Round of 16 with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 decision on the way to Nelson's appearance in the title match. Nelson and Cohen most recently clashed once again in the NCAA Team Round of 16, where Cohen managed a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 win over Nelson. The history of heated battles between the two hint at another all-out showdown when Nelson and Cohen clash in Monday's NCAA final at 8 p.m. ET at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

To get there, Nelson had to get past second-seeded Megan Falcon of LSU in the semifinals. After a tight first set pushed into a tiebreaker, Nelson buckled down and pounded out the win with a 7-2 tiebreaker to bring up the second set. There, Nelson worked ahead and stayed there on the way to a 7-6 (2), 6-2 win that launched the USC junior into contention for the championship.

FULL RESULTS AND LIVE SCORING

NCAA WOMEN'S SINGLES CHAMPIONSHIPS
Round of 64
May 23, 2007 - Athens, Ga.
#5 (4) Lindsey Nelson (USC) def. #55 Anastasia Zhukova (Chattanooga) - 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
#36 Amanda Taylor (Vanderbilt) def. #11 (9-16) Sarah Fansler (USC) - 7-6 (5), 6-4

Round of 32
May 24, 2007 - Athens, Ga.
#5 (4) Lindsey Nelson (USC) def. #48 Audrey Banada (Miami) - 7-6*, 6-4
*tiebreaker score unavailable

Round of 16
May 25, 2007 - Athens, Ga.
#5 (4) Lindsey Nelson (USC) def. #39 Megan Alexander (Florida) - 6-2, 6-4

Quarterfinals
May 26, 2007 - Athens, Ga.
#5 (4) Lindsey Nelson (USC) def. (6) #6 Kristi Miller (Georgia Tech) - 6-3, 6-3

Semifinals
May 26, 2007 - Athens, Ga.
#5 (4) Lindsey Nelson def. #2 (2) Megan Falcon (LSU) - 7-6 (2), 6-2

Championship
May 27, 2007 - Athens, Ga.
#5 (4) Lindsey Nelson (USC) vs. #1 (1) Audra Cohen (Miami) - 8 p.m. ET

(Number in parentheses indicates tournament seeding)

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