RELATED: 2013 USTA.com Year in Review home
By Sally Milano, USTA.com
From start to finish, 2013 was an exciting year in Division I college tennis, with outstanding performances from individuals and teams throughout the year.
Leading the accolades were Lauren Embree of Florida and Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia, who were named the 2013 ITA National College Players of the Year for the outstanding performances they gave during their senior seasons.
At the 2013 NCAA championships in May, Stanford’s Nicole Gibbs became the fifth player in history to win back-to-back NCAA Division I women’s singles titles with a win over Nebraska senior Mary Weatherholt in the final. Ohio State junior Blaz Rola of Slovenia took home the men's championship after defeating Virginia’s Jenkins in the final. And in doubles, Jenkins teamed with fellow Cavalier Mac Styslinger to capture the men’s title, while Southern California’s Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria claimed the women's crown.
The Stanford women and Virginia men were the big winners in the NCAA team tournament. Gibbs and her Stanford teammates posted a thrilling 4-3 win over No. 3 Texas A&M to win its 17th NCAA women’s team title. Virginia, meanwhile, captured its first NCAA men’s team championship with a 4-3 win over UCLA in the final.
In November, North Carolina freshman Jamie Loeb capped off the fall portion of the 2013-14 season by winning her second straight college tennis major at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, while senior Clay Thompson of UCLA won his 15th straight match to capture the men's singles title.
In other collegiate news in 2013, the USTA’s "College MatchDay" series made its debut and highlighted a handful of the top men’s and women’s college tennis team matches, while also featuring organized activities and local events at each host team’s campus. College MatchDay was a big success in its first year and, in 2014, will continue with a full slate of team matches during the season.
And three events were held in the fall in which college players competed with some of the country’s top juniors, giving the winners of each event a wild card into a future USTA Pro Circuit tournament. University of San Diego sophomore Uros Petronijevic won the first event – the 13th annual Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic. USC junior Roberto Quiroz and 17-year-old high school senior Peggy Porter won the men’s and women’s singles titles at the second tournament – the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational in Orlando, Fla. And Duke junior Ester Goldfeld won the third event – the USTA Collegiate Invitational in Portland, Ore.
Finally, in December, Team USA captured its third straight and fourth overall Master'U BNP Paribas Championships title by defeating Russia, 7-0, in the final of the international team competition, held in Aix-en-Provence, France.