Astra Sharma was mobbed by her teammates in the doubles alley of Court 2 at Baylor's Hurd Tennis Center, having just wrapped up the third NCAA title inVanderbilt history.
The fourth-seeded Commodores dethroned defending national champion UCLA with a 4-2 win Tuesday night in Waco, Texas.
"You feel fully alive in the moment when you're in these matches," said Vanderbilt coach Geoff Macdonald, who won the program's first national title in his 21st season. "It was an extraordinary team effort over the course of several months. It's been just an incredible group."
All three of Vanderbilt's national championships have come in the past decade. In 2007, the women's bowling team won the first national title in school history. Last season, the baseball team won the College World Series over Virginia.
The latest Vanderbilt champions have a roster with four continents represented. Sharma, from Australia, ensured that the Commodores' second trip to the NCAA women's tennis title match would have a different ending than their 2001 loss to Stanford.
At 4-4 in the third set, Sharma fought off a break point that could've given the championship to the Bruins. On a nearby court, Vanderbilt's Marie Casares was locked in a tight third ...