austin, texas — University of Texas sophomore Peyton Stearns has chosen to turn professional, he announced Friday. A three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American (singles in 2021 and 2022, doubles in 2022), Stearns recently led the Longhorns to their second straight NCAA team championship and became the first player in program history to claim the NCAA. Singles title.
On Thursday, Stearns was named the 2022 ITA National Player of the Year. The honor is awarded annually to male and female players who finish the season No. 1 in the final national singles rankings. Stearns has also been selected as one of four finalists for the Class of 2022 Honda Sport Award for Tennis.
“First, I need to thank everyone at the University of Texas that I had the opportunity to be with during my time there,” Stearns said. “There are no words to describe how much the team and staff have impacted my life for the better. During the two years I spent in Texas, I found and established a second family. The team and staff helped me not only become a better tennis player , but more importantly, a better person off the court. I am so grateful for all the help and efforts put into my career goals while in Texas. I am so happy I decided to come to college, and even more happy to have attended the University of Texas.
After leading Texas to its second consecutive NCAA team title this year, she became the first player in program history to win the NCAA singles championship. She concluded the season with an overall record of 33-2 in individual games. Stearns paired with partner Allura Zamarripa on the doubles court and earned ITA Doubles All-America honors this season. The duo advanced to the NCAA doubles quarterfinals and were No. 10 in the final ITA national doubles rankings. Stearns was also listed as the 2022 Big 12 Player of the Year, the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player, and the Big 12 Singles Champion at No. 1 Singles.
“It’s really hard to believe that Peyton’s accomplishments at Forty Acres have far outweighed the hype associated with his signing,” the Texas head coach said. Howard Joffe. “Peyton will pause her education in the service of a professional career after her sophomore year, having been crowned National Singles Champion and leading her team to back-to-back National Championships.”
“Her impact is unparalleled in the annals of Texas women’s tennis history,” Joffe continued. “Peyton has done all of this with the class and poise you’d expect from a Longhorn student-athlete. She’s an excellent student on and off the court, a leader as a freshman, and a young person of class and integrity. Anyone with a the pulse will be supporting Peyton Stearns reach the top of your professional career.
As a freshman in 2020-21, Stearns earned ITA Singles All-America honors. She completed the season with a record of 18-8 in singles, including a 13-4 mark in two-match games ranked No. 1 in singles, and was ranked No. 13 in the final ITA national singles rankings. While leading Texas to the 2021 NCAA team title, Stearns was named the 2021 NCAA Women’s Team Championship Most Outstanding Player and the 2021 Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
During his two seasons at Texas, Stearns compiled an overall record of 51-10 in singles and a 42-17 mark in doubles.