Lindsey Nelson Falls In NCAA Singles Final

May 28, 2007

ATHENS, GA. - USC's Lindsey Nelson reached the NCAA Singles final for the second straight season after a powerful run through the 2007 NCAA Singles Championships, but a national title was left just out of reach of the junior. Facing the top-ranked player in the nation, Miami's Audra Cohen, Nelson put up a tough first set before Cohen managed a 7-5, 6-2 victory in the title match to claim the NCAA Singles crown for the tournament's top seed.

On Monday night at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., fourth-seeded Nelson appeared in the NCAA Singles championship match for back-to-back seasons. In 2006 as a sophomore, Nelson became just the second USC women's tennis player to reach the NCAA final - a feat last achieved by 1983 NCAA champ Beth Herr. This year, Nelson captured the 2007 Pac-10 Singles championship on the way to a repeat appearance in the 2007 NCAA Singles final. Nelson had squared off against Cohen earlier in the 2007 postseason, when Cohen posted a three-set win over Nelson in their No. 1 singles match during USC's NCAA Team Round of 16 face-off with Miami.

With the first set tied up 3-3 during the pair's 2007 NCAA Singles final match, Nelson drilled out a break of Cohen, then fired off four straight service points to take a 5-3 advantage. Cohen held serve next to pull the score to 5-4 as Nelson went to the service line. Cohen answered back at that point, although Nelson fended off a couple advantages by Cohen before the Hurricane got the edge and leveled the match 5-5. Cohen then pushed through, holding once more to take the lead 6-5, before tacking up one last break to come from behind and win the first set 7-5.

In that one-set hole, Nelson fell behind further in the second set, as Cohen streaked out to a 5-0 lead. Nelson grabbed a game after that, however, pulling the score to 5-1 before pulling out a break of her own, getting past Cohen to make it 5-2. Cohen was able to get back in control after that, though, getting ahead of Nelson and finishing off the match to claim the title. Cohen's 7-5, 6-2 victory over Nelson finished off the 2007 NCAA Singles crown for Cohen, and closed out Nelson's impressive junior season at a 31-8 overall singles record.

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.
#1 (1) Audra Cohen (Miami) def. #5 (4) Lindsey Nelson (USC) - 7-5, 6-2

(Number in parentheses indicates tournament seeding)

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