Middlebury's Leung nabs singles title; Amherst's Brewer, Devlin win doubles
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Middlebury’s Loz-Sze Leung captured the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Singles Championship with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' Kristin Lim and Amherst duo of Jordan Brewer and Gabby Devlin stood atop the doubles podium for the second time in three years with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8-6) comeback triumph against CMS’s Lim and Caroline Ward.
However, scores can be deceiving.
Middlebury sophomore Leung apparently cruised to the NCAA DIII singles crown, never dropping a set and losing a total of only 20 games in the five matches she won on her way to claiming the title Saturday morning at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium.
The No. 2 seed entering the tournament, Leung lost a total of eight games in her first three matches and defeated top-seeded CMS senior Lim 6-1, 6-3 in Saturday's championship match. Her toughest match may have come in Friday's semifinals when she edged No. 5-seeded Brewer of Amherst 6-3, 7-5.
But it wasn't as simple as Leung made it look.
“It wasn't easy,” Leung said. “[Friday] I was down [to Brewer] 5-2 in the second set and then won five games in a row. [Saturday] I was really nervous and it took me a while to close it out.”
Leung's championship victory Saturday avenged her 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) loss to Gabrielle Clark of Emory in last year's championship match. “I couldn't hit a ball there for a while,” Leung said. "But playing in the finals last year really helped me.”
Middlebury's women's team lost to Emory 5-2 in the quarterfinal round of the team tournament.
"I really wanted to enjoy this week, and I have enjoyed it with my teammates here,” Leung said. “It has been really, really good to have a team of people here to do this together.”
Amherst juniors Brewer and Devlin did it together Saturday afternoon, winning the doubles championship. Devlin, though, has now won three consecutive doubles championships. Brewer and Devlin won the national doubles title as freshmen and Devlin also won it while playing with Laura Danzig last year. Brewer was recovering from appendicitis during last year's national tournament.
In the final match this season, Brewer and Devlin survived double match points at 6-4 in the third-set tiebreaker.
“This one is better, particularly because, I'll be honest, I didn't think we could beat Kristin [Lim],” Devlin said. “Her forehand is a bullet, I just tired to duck every time.”
Brewer and Devlin were the tournament's No. 3 seed while Lim and Ward were the top seed.
“It was a marathon match and either way I would have been happy with the outcome, but it sure is better to win,” Devlin said. “My first thought when we were down [6-4] in the tiebreaker was, I'll be honest, 'There goes three,'” Devlin said. “I thought that if you want it, it's time to poach and take it, and we did it.”
A team theme came to Brewer's mind at the same time.
“I was thinking, 'I believe.' That has been a team motto this year. That's what I was focusing on."