Last week, Arianne Hartono, a senior on the Ole Miss Women’s Tennis team, made history by capturing the program’s first-ever women’s singles title in the 2018 NCAA Championship.
Hartono defeated Pepperdine’s Ashley Lahey at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex on May 28 to secure the title. She joins 2009 men’s tennis NCAA Champion, Devin Britton, as the only players from Ole Miss to win an NCAA singles national championship.
Hartono’s road to the championship was not an easy one. In the semifinals against Pepperdine’s Mayar Sherif, Hartono had to rally her way back from a set down to win in a tiebreaker. Arianne ended Sherif’s 18-match winning streak to advance to the finals of the NCAA Tournament.
Despite getting off to a slow start, Hartono was quickly able to swing the momentum back in her favor. By breaking Lahey’s serve twice, Hartono stormed back from the deficit to snatch first set 6-4. Arianne was relentless in the second set by pulling away 3-1 in game score. Not letting her national title chances slip, she took charge to end the match 6-4, 6-2 to capture the national title for the Rebels.
“Women’s tennis is tricky,” Hartono said. “All it takes is one moment and the entire match can turn around. It was such a quick momentum shift from 4-3 down to 5-4 up and 6-4. That’s all I needed to take over. I knew that she’s a hard hitter and we’re playing indoors, so it’s going to come fast. I just tried to make rallies as long as possible and whenever I get my shot I’ll take it. I tried to be consistent, patient and work the points.”
Winning the championship was the best possible end to Hartono’s outstanding career at Ole Miss. She finished the year 37-6, which tied for the second most on the all-time-single-season win list. She also ranks eighth all-time at Ole Miss with 97 career wins.
In addition to her impressive record, Hartono earned SEC Player of the Year honors and ITA National Co-Senior Player of the Year honors this year. She helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and their highest final national ranking (6) since 1999. She is also a three-time All-SEC selection and was named to the 2015 SEC All-Freshman team.
Hartono was most recently named a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The winner will be chosen on live on the CBS Sports Network on June 25th in Los Angeles.