Cavalier Corner

August 2016

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some bumps. "But I saw a very good tennis player, and I knew her game extremely well having re- cruited her." Collins admits when she came to Virginia she wasn't highly rated in the collegiate rankings, but believes she was a "diamond in the rough" who just needed the right coach- ing. "Coach Guilbeau and Coach [Troy] Porco really believed in my abilities, and valued my athleticism and how smart I was," Col- lins explained. "They pushed me every day and worked with me on the things I needed to do to grow as a tennis player and as a person." That belief paid off, and Collins has the hardware to prove it. For the driven Collins, though, it's not enough. "I've always tried to be the best, and I hate losing as much as I like winning," Collins said. "I'm really hard on myself. I wish I could have won more national championships. "Luckily my tennis career is not over, and I can carry this over and have a suc- cessful professional career." Collins has already gotten a taste on the professional game and acquitted her- self well. Lining up across from second- seeded Simona Halep at the 2014 U.S. Open (NCAA winners get a U.S. Open invitation), she shocked the crowd at the Arthur Ashe Center claiming the first set from Halep, 7-6. "She can play at that level," Guilbeau said. "Her ceiling will probably be in terms of the intangibles — the heart, the mind and the organization of things and getting on a good path, which I think college helped her with." The coaches gave value to Collins the athlete, and one of her favorite lecturers at UVA, Denise Stewart, gave value to Col-

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