Out On Top: Ko Takes A Bow at NCAA Singles Championship

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - A three-hour and 20 minute saga took place at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center at Texas A&M this afternoon. Senior Beier Ko started her match against Nadia Abdala of Arizona State at 1 p.m. central time and did not leave the court until 4:20 p.m., when Abdala defeated Ko, 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, to close out the career of one of the Crimson's all-time greats.

In the first set, it was Abdala who would prevail, taking down Ko quickly in a 6-2 victory. Abdala would continue that momentum in the second game, quickly advancing to a 3-0 lead.

With her back against the wall like a stray dog, Ko gained advantage twice in the match before finally taking the point at 3-1. Ko again aggressively attacked Abdala, playing the lines and forcing her to make mistakes. After three consecutive errors, Abdala's frustration showed as she fired the ball in her hip pocket back to Ko's side of the net after Ko had won the point to make it 3-2.

After quickly tying the match at 3-3, Abdala settled herself to take back a 4-3 lead. The cool Ko had different a different plan, tying the match up at 4-4. The two flip-flopped twice as Abdala regained the lead, 5-4, followed by Ko tying the match back up at 5-5. Abdala went back on the offensive, going up 6-5 with Ko firing back to make it 6-6. The tiebreaker went to Ko, 7-5, allowing the Boca Raton, Fla., native to take the set, 7-6.

In the final set, Ko's and Abdala's engine was running on all cylinders as each traded points with Ko taking the first, with Abdala tying it up each time to make it 2-2. Ko went up 3-2 and was up 40-love in the sixth, before giving advantage to Abdala who tied it up at 3-3. For the seventh point of the match, both sides showed signs of fatigue, as advantage was traded between the competitors and the score went to deuce 10 times, until Abdala gained her final advantage to go up 4-3. She then took the next point to make it 5-3, until Ko bounced back, up 40-love and clinched the game to make it 5-4. Abdala went up to make it 40-30, until Ko tied it at deuce. Abdala gained the first and last advantage of the set as she took the match point to win the third and final set, 6-4.

Ko finishes her outstanding senior season with an overall record of 15-9 and closes out her career at Harvard with a record of 44-21. Ko is only the third woman in Harvard women's tennis history to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship three-times in her career. She also closes her season as the 99th ranked player in the Campbell's ITA Women's Singles Poll.