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WACO, Texas - North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb defeated No. 2 seed Carol Zhao of Stanford to win the 2015 NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles National Championship on Monday afternoon.
The seventh seeded player in the field, Loeb won in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, pinning the first loss on Zhao since March 22, and in the process, snapped a 15-match win streak for the Cardinal All-America.
Loeb (31-5) is the first singles national champion in Carolina women’s tennis history. Cinda Gurney reached the title match in 1993. Loeb joins Jenna Long and Sara Anundsen who won the 2007 doubles title as the only NCAA champions in program history.
Weather played a significant role over the last two weeks in Waco, and Monday was no different. The match began outside and Loeb dominated the first set to the tune of a 6-2 win.
Then the rains came with Zhao up 1-0 in the second set. The venue change didn’t seem to bother Loeb as she was close to winning in straight sets after leading 4-2 in the second, however, Zhao fought diligently and won the next four points to capture the set and send the finale into a third set.
Playing her sixth three-set match in the last 10 days in Waco, Loeb took the opening point in the third set on a service break, but Zhao answered right back for a 1-1 tie.
Loeb broke Zhao for a third successive time in the third set to gain a 4-1 advantage and continued on for the 6-1 victory.
Loeb is the seventh sophomore in the last 11 years to win the NCAA singles championship.
In two seasons at Carolina, the Ossening, New York, product has already won virtually every major collegiate singles event in the country. She became the first freshman in almost 30 years to win both the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championship and the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship in the same season back in the fall of 2013.
The 2014 ITA National Player of the Year won the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational in the fall of 2014 and has already earned ACC Player of the Year honors twice. She owns a staggering 84-9 career record in singles competition.