Campos Leads Buffs To Season Finale Win
BOULDER – Colorado women's tennis sophomore Maria Campos made history Friday afternoon as she led the Buffs to a 4-1 victory here against Utah for the 2021 regular-season finale.
"We're just really proud and happy for the ladies," said assistant coach Anthony Nguyen Pham. "We've been dealing with some adversity and today everyone really showed up. We lost a tough doubles point, Utah played well in doubles, but to start singles we really came out with great energy. That translated to a great start on all the courts. Sophia really toughed one out and battled through a really good match. Her opponent played well and we're really happy for Sophia to get through that and that was big for the team."
The Buffaloes (9-11, 3-7 Pac-12) tie the school record for Pac-12 conference wins in a season for the second time under head coach Danielle Steinberg and lock in either the ninth or tenth seed for the Pac-12 Championships. The Utes finish the season with a 7-13 overall record while going winless in conference play in 10 tries.
Campos' history is one of perseverance and hard work. She began the season at the No.6 singles position and did the unthinkable this season, moving all the way up to No.1 singles match. Campos is the first Colorado women's tennis player to play a match at every single tennis position in singles in a season, and after taking down Madeline Lamoreaux today she became the first player to win a match at every position in a single season.
"It shows that hard work does pay off," said Campos on her achievement. "It means a lot to me, but mainly for the team. We've all worked really hard. Getting this win is amazing. This season has been interesting with COVID, it means a lot to us to win today."
Colorado got on the board first after Campos took a quick 6-2 first set against Lamoreaux. Campos found herself down 5-2 in the second set then stormed back to take the lead 6-5 and had two chances at match point. After letting up the game she stormed back with the first six points in the first-to-seven tiebreaker, then finally finished it off at 7-2 in the tiebreaker.
"It's a credit to her because she's worked very hard at her craft, and she's really put the time in," said Nguyen. "It's a cliche but you get out of what you put in and for her, she puts in the work and the results come. It's not something that just kind of comes out of nowhere. She really works at it and she wants to be good and she really showed it this season. She's improved immensely this season."
Campos finished the regular season with 11 singles wins, second behind Megan Forster who quickly gave CU a 2-1 advantage following her victory in the No.3 singles match. Forster gave the Buffs the lead after putting down Lindsay Hung with a pair of 6-2 sets. Forster was in control the entire second set with numerous chances at match point before she put it away. Forster closes the regular season with a team-best 12 wins in singles play.
Another pleasant surprise came with Sophia Derivan picking up her first singles win since February as she has been struggling with injury throughout the month of March. Derivan took the first set against Emily Dush 6-1, then fell 6-4 in the second and was behind for most of the third. Facing match point, Derivan tied things up 6-6. In the tiebreaker she finally took the lead at 4-3 as the set and match came down to the wire. A play off the net set her up with match-point at 6-4. A shot down the line barely grazed out, then Dush tied it up at six all with a play at the net. Dush rushed the net again but sent it wide to give Derivan match point and her serve, resulting in Derivan picking up the win with a cross-court shot.
Colorado had three simultaneous set points three hours into the match with Antonia Balzert dropping the first in the No.4 singles match, Ky Ecton winning the first in the No.5 singles match and Derivan taking the win in the No.2 singles match. Ecton continued to dominate Anya Lamoreaux, taking the second set by the same score as the first, 6-3, to clinch the match for Colorado.
The Buffaloes head to San Diego next weekend and will either play in the eight versus nine seed match or the seven versus 10 seed match. The current Pac-12 standings have it looking like0020Colorado will either face one of the Washington schools or Arizona, though there are scenarios that could put the Buffs up against Oregon, USC or Arizona State as well.