UVa's Danielle Collins Reflects on Winning NCAA Singles Championship
Virginia sophomore tennis star Danielle Collins has become the first UVa women's player to win a singles individual national championship. She clinched the title on Monday in Athens, Georgia with a 6-2, 7-5 win over California's Lynn Chi in the finals.
On Wednesday, Collins was back at UVa holding the championship trophy in her hands and reflected upon winning the national title.
Collins says, "I wasn't even aware that I had won it, and then I did, and then I dropped to the ground and I was so pumped and I went and hugged my coaches."
Collins, who helped lead Virginia's team to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals this year, furthest in program history, began the individual championships as a long shot, ranked 32nd in the nation. Now Collins is the talk of the town.
Collins says, "When I got off the court I had 60 unread text messages and then it went up to 250 and my facebook inbox I'm getting notifications every other minute. Its just been kind of shocking because I've never gotten that much attention before."
Collins, who transferred from Florida, had a great first year at UVa.
The sophomore had a singles record of 37-11. The 37 wins ranks second in UVa school history for a single season.
Collins adds, "All the help my coaches have invested into my game, as really helped and its just really exciting. I know how much it means to my coaches and my teammates and everyone that's been a part of this and I'm just really happy I was part of it and able to do it for my school, it means so much more being a part of a program and being able to win it for other people and not just yourself."
Up next, a September trip to New York City where she'll compete in the US Open.
"I mean its still kind of shocking to me that I'm going to be playing in a Grand Slam, that's been my dream since I was three years old, and at one point I thought that might never happen, I'm just so fortunate to be in this situation and really just excited and pumped up at the same time."
If Collins should advance deep into the US Open she would have a big decision to make.
She can't accept any prize money and keep her amateur status. Collins says she plans on returning to Virginia for her junior and senior seasons.
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