Collins Wins NCAA Tennis Championship
In her first season at Virginia, second-year women’s tennis player Danielle Collins (Col ’16) had a year that’s going to be hard to top: Not only did she help lead the team to its first-ever ACC title but Collins also became the first Cavalier to claim the NCAA women’s singles championship.
A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Collins transferred to UVA from Florida State University last summer. Her impact at the Snyder Tennis Center was immediate.
“Since Danielle won the individual title, I’ve seen what that does for a team and that all of that success comes from a team doing great things day in and out,” says head coach Mark Guilbeau.
Collins finished the season ranked 14th nationally and captured the ACC Championship’s Most Valuable Player award. Her 37 wins place her second all-time on UVA’s single-season list.
“I think really buying into what the coaches were trying to get me to do was one of the biggest factors [of my success],” Collins says. “I had to go outside of my comfort zone, like take balls out of the air and try to hit bigger serves. I didn’t always believe in it at first but you start getting results and you buy in.”
Another High Finish in Director's Cup
The Cavaliers finished fourth in the 2014 Director’s Cup, the school’s second highest ranking ever. The Director’s Cup, given by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America, awards points based on sports programs’ finishes in up to 20 sports. Twenty-one UVA teams made it into NCAA postseason play this school year. The only year the University placed higher was in 2009-2010, when it was ranked third.
“We look forward to working with everyone associated with Virginia athletics to position all of our sports programs to compete in postseason play and help the department reach its 10-year goal of winning 12 NCAA championships and 70 ACC titles,” says Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage.
Doolittle Gets All-Star Nod
At the halfway mark of a season that included 13 saves with a 2.98 ERA, former UVA baseball pitcher Sean Doolittle (Col ’08) was selected for Major League Baseball’s All-Star team.
Doolittle came to the Oakland Athletics organization in 2007 as a left-handed hitter and first baseman, and only returned to the mound after he suffered knee injuries. “Sean was a terrific player here, instrumental in helping our program go to another level,” says UVA head coach Brian O’Connor.
Doolittle is still engaged with UVA’s program. In January he returned as keynote speaker at the annual preseason banquet.
Harris Joins Cavaliers, Again
Former UVA basketball star Joe Harris says he’s thrilled to be joining LeBron James as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Harris (Col ’14) was selected in the second round of this year’s NBA draft.
“Anybody would be excited to play with the group that’s being put together here now,” Harris says. “I am extremely grateful that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to live my dream of playing in the NBA, but by no means am I satisfied.”