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Jamie Loeb, an Ossining, NY native, beat second-seeded Carol Zhao of Stanford 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 on Monday to become North Carolina’s first NCAA singles tennis champion. Inclement weather, including heavy rain and lightening, caused the match to be switched to an indoor venue.
Loeb, a sophomore at Chapel Hill, prevented Stanford from enjoying its 15th women’s singles title in this final between sophomores. Zhao was ahead 1-0 in the second set when play was briefly suspended and moved across the street to Baylor’s indoor facility.
Once the game resumed, Loeb held serve to make it 1-1 in the second set and appeared to have the upper hand with a break for a 4-3 lead. Zhao broke her and won the set on a double-fault by Loeb, forcing the third set that Loeb quickly dominated.
This NCAA singles championship win is just the latest in a long series of successes for Loeb. Loeb was considered the top player in her recruiting class by TennisRecruiting.net when she competed in the 2013 U.S. Open Main Draw Qualifier, and was also a quarterfinalist at the 2013 Wimbledon Juniors.
In her freshman season for the Tar Heels, Loeb went 53-4 in singles matches with a perfect 14-0 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference play. She was an ITA All-America selection in singles and doubles and voted the ACC Player of the Year.
On the men’s side, Virginia’s Ryan Shane topped freshman, Noah Rubin of Wake Forest 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1. Shane, a junior, became Virginia’s second NCAA men’s singles champion. The win was no easy task as Rubin, the reigning Junior Wimbledon champion, took the first set.
“It is an unbelievable feeling to be coming home with two championships,” said Shane “I don’t think it has set in yet that this is real. The fact that I had to fight so hard for this title, coming from behind today, makes it that much more special.”