June 5, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- Sophomore Nicole Gibbs has been named this year's recipient of the Honda Sports Award for tennis. Her selection by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program recognizes Gibbs as the country's top female player in her sport.
A 2012 All-American in both singles and doubles, Gibbs pulled off a historic sweep of this year's NCAA singles and doubles titles. Gibbs joined Stanford's Linda Gates (1985) and UCLA's Keri Phebus (1995) as only the third player in NCAA history to capture both NCAA titles in the same season.
Gibbs defeated teammate Mallory Burdette 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the first all-Stanford singles final since 2001, claiming the 15th collegiate singles crown (13 NCAA, 2 AIAW) in school history. One hour later, Gibbs and Burdette shook off physical and emotional fatigue to claim the doubles championship with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Georgia's Nadja Gilchrist and Chelsey Gullickson.
The championship matches represented a historic day for the Stanford women's tennis program. It was the first time in NCAA men's or women's tennis history that teammates squared off in the singles final before later pairing up in the doubles title match.
The 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year, Gibbs was also named an All-Pac-12 First Team selection. She finished the year 41-5 overall and 21-2 in duals while playing all her matches at the No. 1 spot. Closing out the year on a 17-match winning streak, Gibbs pocketed two other singles titles along the way, winning the ITA Northwest Regional Championships in October and Pac-12 Championships in April.
Gibbs and Burdette posted a 35-5 record overall and were 18-2 in duals. Playing together for the first time, the duo opened the season by claiming the title at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in October.
A graduate of the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Calif., Gibbs competes in WTA and ITF events while maintaining an amateur status. In 2010, she was ranked 356th by the WTA. In 2007, she took the number one spot for the gold medal-winning U.S. 14-and-under team for World Team Tennis.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As a Honda prize recipient, Gibbs becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup. Gibbs was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Burdette (Stanford), Beatrice Capra (Duke) and Allie Will (Florida).