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Nelson Takes Second in Women's Tennis

Junior Lindsey Nelson took 2nd place at the NCAA Women's Singles Tennis Championships Monday night at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Nelson, who was forth seed, fell to the top-ranked player in the nation, Miami's Audra Cohen.

On Monday night at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., fourth-seeded Nelson appeared in the NCAA Singles championship match for back-to-back seasons. In 2006 as a sophomore, Nelson became just the second USC women's tennis player to reach the NCAA final - a feat last achieved by 1983 NCAA champ Beth Herr. This year, Nelson captured the 2007 Pac-10 Singles championship on the way to a repeat appearance in the 2007 NCAA Singles final. Nelson had squared off against Cohen earlier in the 2007 postseason, when Cohen posted a three-set win over Nelson in their No. 1 singles match during USC's NCAA Team Round of 16 face-off with Miami.

With the first set tied up 3-3 during the pair's 2007 NCAA Singles final match, Nelson drilled out a break of Cohen, then fired off four straight service points to take a 5-3 advantage. Cohen held serve next to pull the score to 5-4 as Nelson went to the service line. Cohen answered back at that point, although Nelson fended off a couple advantages by Cohen before the Hurricane got the edge and leveled the match 5-5. Cohen then pushed through, holding once more to take the lead 6-5, before tacking up one last break to come from behind and win the first set 7-5.

In some ways disappointing but it is an impressive achievement to go to the finals in back to back years. The news is not all bad though as Nelson earned back-to-back Tennis Honda Award nominations.

After another season of turning heads and tacking up wins all the way to the NCAA Women's Singles final, USC junior Lindsey Nelson has been nominated once again for the 2006-07 Tennis Honda Sports Award. A junior who racked up a 31-8 overall singles record this season, Nelson propelled her way to a second straight appearance in the NCAA singles title match. In doing so, Nelson secured herself as a Honda Award finalist along with NCAA champion Audra Cohen of Miami and NCAA semifinalists Megan Falcon of LSU and Zuzana Zemenova of Baylor. The winner of the women's tennis Honda Sports Award is scheduled to be announced on June 5 by Collegiate Women Sports Awards, with that winner then becoming a candidate for the Honda-Broderick Cup - presented to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Now having reached the NCAA final twice in her career, Nelson shines as only the second USC player all-time to have even appeared in the NCAA singles title match, as Beth Herr won the NCAA championship in 1983. Nelson also is now one of only three Women of Troy to be named a Honda Award finalist and the only Trojan to have earned the honor twice in her career. Anna Maria Fernandez was the first and only USC player to win the award - having done so in 1981 before NCAA competition began for women's tennis - and Herr was a finalist in 1983.

Congrats Lindsey on a great season!