Two drama-filled finals that went down to the wire, entertained thousands of college tennis fans, including one that was a former world No. 1, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia.
Two close contests went the way of teams from California as seventh-seeded UCLA outlasted North Carolina, 4-3.
The No.7 Tar Heels couldn't win the doubles point, but battled back to take it the distance.
The match was tied at 3-3 with UNC’s Tessa Lyon’s victory at number six singles.
That meant it all went down to number three, as McPhillips took on Caroline Price in a three set marathon. With McPhillips up, a 15-minute games with constant ebbs and flows was won by UCLA as Price missed on a backhand to give UCLA the title.
The men's final was just as close with USC taking on Oklahoma.
With Oklahoma head coach, John Roddick's famous brother Andy in the stands watching, the seconded-seeded Sooners were able to get breaks early to score as they clinched the doubles point against the No.1 Trojans. Alex Ghilea and Nick Papac and the number two team of Guillermo Alcorta and Andrew Harris netted Oklahoma an early advantage.
On to the singles, where a tense Andy Roddck shuffled between a few different seats in the stands to keep tabs on the action.
USC started quickly. In search of the school’s 100th total national championship, Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento won at numbers one and two by scores of 7-5, 6-2 and 6-4, 7-6(4) respectively.
The title was clinched as Max de Vroome at number four defeated Andrew Harris 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to make sure both the national championship trophies will reside in the city of angels.
“To do it with these guys is always special. You start with a group that I don't think anyone would have said would win the NCAAs back in September,” said USC head coach Peter Smith. “It's a credit to them and how hard they worked. We've had so many great players, and it's amazing to now see a new group step up. They all stepped up. Winning one of these is so hard.”
Following the matches, Oklahoma head coach Roddick said that in his “unbiased opinion”, the tennis championships should be held in Athens every year. Roddick has both played and coached in Athens.
Smith agreed, to a point.
"I think it's important to mix it up, but I certainly think every two or three years it should be here. This is the best site. It has the best town, it has the best fans and it has the best facility,” Smith said. “It's a wonderful place to play, and the atmosphere the last two nights...I keep on saying special, but it's just different. They know what they're doing here, also."
Southern California has now won five national titles in Athens.
Georgia will host the NCAA Division-I Tennis Championships again in 2017.
Women’s Final: #5 UCLA (27-2) def. #7 NORTH CAROLINA (29-6), 4-3 - Henry Feild Stadium
Doubles (Order of finish: 2,1)
1. #1 Robin Anderson/Jennifer Brady (UCLA) def. #3 Jamie Loeb/Hayley Carter (NORTH CAROLINA), 8-7(3)
2. #9 Catherine Harrison/Kyle McPhillips (UCLA) def. #13 Whitney Kay/Caroline Price (NORTH CAROLINA), 8-2
3. Courtney Dolehide/Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) vs. Ashley Dai/Tessa Lyons (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-7, unf.
Singles (Order of finish: 1,2,5,4,6,3)
1. #2 Robin Anderson (UCLA) def. #1 Jamie Loeb (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-2, 6-2
2. #5 Hayley Carter (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #8 Jennifer Brady (UCLA), 6-2, 6-2
3. #38 Kyle McPhillips (UCLA) def. #59 Caroline Price (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
4. #13 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) def. #105 Ashley Dai (NORTH CAROLINA), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Kate Vialle (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #75 Catherine Harrison (UCLA), 6-4, 6-4
6. Tessa Lyons (NORTH CAROLINA) def. Kaitlin Ray (UCLA), 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
Men’s Final: #1 USC (32-3) def. #2 OKLAHOMA (28-4), 4-2 - Henry Feild Stadium
Doubles (Order of finish: 3,2)
1. #1 Yannick Hanfmann/Ray Sarmiento (USC) vs. Axel Alvarez/Dane Webb (OKLAHOMA) 5-6, unf.
2. Guillermo Alcorta/Andrew Harris (OKLAHOMA) def. Connor Farren/Roberto Quiroz (USC), 8-5
3. Alex Ghilea/Nick Papac (OKLAHOMA) def. Max de Vroome/Eric Johnson (USC), 8-7(2)
Singles (Order of finish: 3,1,2,5,4)
1. #10 Yannick Hanfmann (USC) def. #5 Guillermo Alcorta (OKLAHOMA), 7-5, 6-2
2. #9 Ray Sarmiento (USC) def. #7 Axel Alvarez (OKLAHOMA), 6-4, 7-6(4)
3. #41 Dane Webb (OKLAHOMA) def. #42 Roberto Quiroz (USC), 6-1, 6-2
4. #91 Max de Vroome (USC) def. #53 Andrew Harris (OKLAHOMA), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Eric Johnson (USC) def. Austin Siegel (OKLAHOMA), 6-1, 7-6(2)
6. Michael Grant (USC) vs. Alex Ghilea (OKLAHOMA), 7-6(5), 2-6, 4-2, unf.