2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Kick off Thursday
Hosted by Columbia University at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
SKILLMAN, NJ (Nov. 4) – The field is set for the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, to be held November 7-10 at the USTA Billie Jean National King Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships serve as the culmination of the fall college tennis season. Hosted by Columbia University, this prestigious event features a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles draw for men and women.
Gaining automatic entry into the tournament are the men’s and women’s champions from each of the 12 Division I USTA/ITA Regional Championship held across the country in October, winners of the USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl, singles quarterfinalists from the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships, singles semifinalists from the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships along with consolation champions and doubles finalists from both All-American events.
The men’s singles field showcases six of the top 10 players from the ITA Division I Men’s Preseason Rankings among those competing for the ITA’s final national title of the fall. Twenty-one colleges and universities will be represented in the 32-player singles draw.
A new men’s singles champion will be crowned, as none of this year’s participants have ever gone all the way at Flushing. Mikelis Libietis (Tennessee), Marcos Giron (UCLA) and Ray Sarmiento (USC) are returning quarterfinalists from last year, none of which will be seeded in this year’s tournament. Baylor’s Patrick Pradella sits atop the draw as the tournament’s top seed after a quarterfinal run at the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Tournament. Pradella knocked off No. 87 Joran Vliegen of East Carolina, No. 34 Cameron Silverman of Elon and No. 42 Clarke Spinosa of San Diego before losing to eventual runner-up Guillermo Alcorta of Oklahoma in the quarters.
Pradella leads a cast of three Baylor Bears in the singles draw, which is the second-most represented school behind Oklahoma, who has four players vying for the crown. Alcorta is the highest seed of the Sooners’ contingent, and will play from the bottom of the draw as the No. 2 seed. Alcorta’s only action in the fall was at the ITA All-American Tournament in Tulsa, OK, where he finished as the runner-up to Virginia’s Mitchell Frank. The senior knocked off four top 40 players en route to the finals, twice battling back from a set down.
Pradella’s Baylor teammate and fellow German, Julian Lenz, is the No. 3 seed. Lenz posted wins over Nik Scholtz (Mississippi) and George Goldhoff (Texas) in Tulsa, both of whom will be competing in Flushing. Georgia’s Austin Smith and Vanderbilt’s Gonzales Austin close out the tournament’s top five seeds, with the pair turning in the most exciting singles bout at the ITA All-Americans, with Austin coming out victorious in three tiebreak sets.
The doubles field is highlighted by top-seeded Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee, the 2013 ITA All-American champions. The duo was ranked at the top of the ITA Division I Preseason Rankings, and defended the label with eight straight wins to start the fall before falling in the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regionals to David O’Hare and Joe Salisbury of Memphis. The Tiger pair earned an automatic bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships by winning the regional tournament.
The 2013 USTA/ITA Texas Regional Champions, Soren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool of Texas, turned in three top 10 wins and a 12-2 record this fall to garner the No. 2 seed. ITA All-American runner-up Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA earned the No. 3 seed with a 7-1 record during the fall and the Illinois pair of Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski, consolation winners at the ITA All-Americans, round out the top four seeds.
The women’s singles draw also features six of the top 10 players from the ITA Women’s Preseason Rankings, including the top four.
Last year’s champion, Robin Anderson of UCLA, is back to defend her title, and she’ll be the second seed behind top seed Jamie Loeb of UNC. The two faced off last month in the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships final, with the freshman Tar Heel winning the title in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0. Loeb has begun her collegiate career with an impressive 14-1 record.
The third seed is Beatrice Capra of Duke, who missed the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships with an injury. Capra is 11-1 this season, with her only loss coming to Anderson in the quarterfinals of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in three sets.
USC’s Sabrina Santamaria, the ITA Women’s Preseason number one, is the fourth seed. The Trojan has been affected by injury this fall, limiting her to competing only in the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional tournament, where she went 3-1. Cal’s Zsofi Susanyi rounds out the top 5 seeds on the heels of a strong fall which has seen her go 10-2.
Twenty-one schools are represented in the women’s singles draw, with Georgia, UCLA and Virginia both represented by three players, while four other schools have two players in the field.
The doubles field features 15 different schools in the field of 20 teams, highlighted by two-time defending USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships doubles winners Kaitlyn Christian and Santamaria of USC. The second-seeded duo was also No. 1 in the ITA Preseason Rankings, but with Santamaria’s injury forcing them out of the All-Americans, they’ve only competed in the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional.
The doubles top seeds are Jennifer Brady and Catherine Harrison of UCLA. The Bruin duo has gone 5-0 this fall, winning the USTA/ITA Division I Women's Southwest Regional Championship. USC’s Brynn Boren/Zoe Katz are the third seeds, while Texas’ Breaunna Addison/Pippa Horn are the fourth seeds.
The Women of Troy have two other doubles teams in the draw: Giuliana Olmos/Zoë Scandalis and Brynn Boren/Zoe Katz, while Auburn, Columbia and Michigan each have two doubles teams. Also competing in doubles are UNC’s Loeb and Hayley Carter. The freshman duo won the USTA/ITA Division I Women's Carolina Regional Championship, and are 13-1 this fall.
This is the fourth consecutive year the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships will be held at the home of the US Open.
For complete coverage of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, including access to draws, live scores and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, or like the ITA Facebook page for updates and news from Flushing. Use the hashtag #NationalIndoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "NationalIndoors" to find others who are tweeting about the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, Nov. 7-10.