REPEATING to restore slugline
May. 22, 1995
MALIBU, Calif. (AP) _ After UCLA blew a lead over Stanford in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I women's tennis championships, Keri Phebus was so upset she wanted to drop out of the individual competition.
Fortunately, she changed her mind.
Phebus won the singles title and teamed with Susie Starrett to win the doubles crown Sunday as the 10-day tournament at Pepperdine came to an end.
The second-seeded Phebus beat top-seeded Kelly Pace of Texas 6-2, 6-3 in the singles final and then teamed with Starrett for a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Pace and Cristina Moros to win the doubles title as the top-seeded team beat the second-seeded team.
Phebus, a junior from Newport Beach, Calif., finished with a 55-4 singles record, while Pace, of Huntsville, Ala., wound up 42-4.
``A 55-4 record is about the maximum a player can accomplish,'' UCLA coach Bill Zaima said. ``Winning the NCAA singles title is another big step forward for the UCLA program. It is a tremendous achievement, and I am extremely happy for Keri.''
Phebus, who advanced to the title match last year unseeded before losing to Angela Lettiere of Georgia, said she decided to relax and enjoy the experience this year.
``I was in another world all day, even on the court,'' said Phebus, who became the second player in NCAA women's history to win the singles and doubles titles in the same year. Stanford's Linda Gates was the first in 1985.
With Texas having already won the team title, Pace was hoping for the first sweep of all three titles. But Phebus foiled those hopes.
In the singles final, Phebus took control early and never let up, placing her shots with sharpshooter accuracy.
``I thought that I played a smart match,'' she said. ``Playing tennis against Kelly is like playing a chess match _ she is very precise with her shots. The game plan was to attack her forehand before she attacked my backhand.''
Phebus, who turned 21 on May 1, broke Pace's service eight of the nine games while holding her own service four times in eight games.
The first-set loss was unfamiliar territory for Pace, who had not lost a set since March, and had swept to the championship match in straight sets.
``When she's confident, she attacks everything,'' Phebus said. ``I kind of got on her early. That helped.''
Pace was ahead 3-1 in the second set when Phebus countered by winning 11 straight points to take command.
``Keri played a tremendous match,'' Pace said. ``I did not give her anything. She earned it. I forced her to make good shots, and she did that most of the match.''
Phebus and Starrett finished the season with a 26-6 doubles record while Pace and Moros wound up 29-3.
Starrett is from North Aurora, Ill., while Moros is from Sarasota, Fla.