Alexa Noel caps off incredible season as women’s tennis singles champion

Redshirt junior Alexa Noel yells out in celebration after winning a point in her singles match against Duke University's Emma Jackson at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Feb. 23, 2024.

After leading the Hurricanes to the Sweet 16, Miami’s ace and captain, Alexa Noel, tore through the NCAA Individual Championships to bring home the Canes’ first title since Estela Perez-Somarriba won in 2019.

Noel, who’s ranked No. 10 nationally, began her tournament with a convincing win over Texas’s No. 42 ranked Tanya Sasnouskaya, 6-2, 7-5. In the Round of 32, Noel was taken to three sets against USC’s No. 60-ranked Grace Piper but prevailed, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Noel saw a fellow ACC opponent in the Sweet 16 and displayed a stellar performance over North Carolina’s No. 31-ranked Anika Yarlagadda 6-1, 6-2.

Her Elite 8 consisted of a match against Stanford’s No. 29-ranked Alexandra Yepifanova in which she won, 6-2, 6-3, sending her to the Final Four to take on the No.1 women’s tennis player in the world, Mary Stoiana.

Noel and Stoiana had seen each other earlier in the year when the Aggies came to town to take on the Canes in an out-of-conference matchup in which Noel pulled off a huge 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 victory over the 2023 SEC Player of the Year. Despite the rankings, Noel made it look easy, as she breezed by Stoiana in a 6-3, 6-2 win.

Noel went head-to-head with Georgia’s No. 70-ranked Anastasiia Lopata for the championship on Saturday, May 25. Lopata came out firing and quickly had Noel down 6-4, 3-1, but in a monumental comeback, Noel’s crafty game carried her back and to the finish line in a thrilling 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 title victory.

Noel joins a selective group of UM legends, becoming the third single’s champion in Miami history, all under head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews (Audra Cohen in 2007 and Perez-Somarriba in 2019).

Yaroshuk-Tews had high praise for Noel in the postgame press conference.

I’m so proud of the tournament that Alexa played,” Yaroshuk said to reporters. “She showed uncompromising poise and the toughness of a champion. She’s a special young lady.”

Noel will most likely return next year for her senior season and shoot up the national rankings.