ATHENS, Ga.—University of Hawai’i women’s tennis player Cindy Nguyen battled hard, but fell in the opening round of the 64-player NCAA Women’s Singles Championship to No. 12-seed Breaunna Addison of Texas, 7-5, 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon. The match was played at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex (Henry Field Court #2) on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. The loss snapped Nguyen’s 11-match win streak and she finished her rookie season with a 22-5 overall record. Addison, the Big 12 Player of the Year and All-American sophomore, improved to 28-10 overall for the Longhorns.
Nguyen dropped the first three games to fall behind early in the first set. But she settled down and found her groove breaking Addison then holding serve to trail 2-3. After Addison won her service game, Nguyen won her serve at love to trail 3-4. Nguyen then broke Addison again to draw even in the set 4-4. Both players broke each other’s serve in a couple of tight games to knot the set at 5-5 before Addison edged out Nguyen for the first set, 7-5.
In the second set, Nguyen had some opportunities forcing a few deuce games, but Addison was able to come through with the clutch shots to post a solid 4-0 lead before Nguyen was able to hold her serve to trail 4-1. Addison however, then won her next two service games to eventually take the second set and the match 6-2.
“Cindy did a great job and I’m really proud of how well she competed,” says head coach Jun Hernandez. “She had a strong showing and had lot of chances, but she was competing against a tough opponent who is ranked No. 12 in the nation. She fought hard all match and hopefully she will learn a lot from the match and the experience of playing in the NCAA Tournament. It is quite an accomplishment for her as a freshman to go this far.”
Nguyen is the first Rainbow Wahine to ever to compete in the NCAA Women’s Singles Championship and entered the tourney ranked No. 123. She also was the lone representative from the Big West to play in this year’s tournament. The freshman from Long Beach, Calif. played all but one match this season at the No. 1 position for Hawai’i. The future is bright for the Rainbow Wahine tennis team as Nguyen and five of her teammates will return for the 2015 season after closing the season winning nine of their last 11 matches down the stretch in 2014.