| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA announced that University of Virginia senior Jarmere Jenkins (College Park, Ga.) and University of Florida senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) are among the top American collegians selected to represent the United States in the seventh annual Master’U BNP Paribas, an international collegiate team competition held Dec. 5-9 at Aix-en-Provence, France.

Jenkins, who won the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships singles title last week, Michigan’s Evan King (SR, Chicago) and Southern California’s Ray Sarmiento (JR, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) will be the men’s representatives, while Embree, the 2012 ITA/Riviera All-American champion, Arizona State’s Jacqueline Cako (JR, Brier, Wash.) and Southern California’s Zoe Scandalis (SO, San Diego) are the women’s participants. Together, they will lead the United States in the eight-nation competition including college and university players from around the world.

The U.S., which defeated France to win both the 2011 and 2009 titles, will be competing for the fifth consecutive year against a field that includes Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Russia. The teams will compete in a best-of-seven format consisting of two men’s and two women’s singles matches, one men’s and one women’s doubles match and one mixed doubles match.

The team will be coached by Boise State’s head men’s tennis coach Greg Patton–his fourth straight year coaching the Master’U team–and Cal head women’s tennis coach Amanda Augustus.

Jenkins, Embree and Cako are all representing the U.S. in Master’U for the second straight year, having helped lead the United States to the championship in 2011. King, the number four-ranked men’s singles player in the Campbell/ITA rankings, was formerly the top-ranked American junior, while Sarmiento is currently No. 9 in the Campbell/ITA singles rankings. Both King and Sarmiento also once trained at the USTA Player Development National Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla.

Cako is a two-time ITA All-American, while Scandalis is ranked No. 7 in the Campbell/ITA women’s singles rankings. All six players competed on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2012 as members of the USTA Collegiate Team, a high-level training program for top American collegiate tennis players.

USTA and Collegiate Tennis: For the third straight year this fall, the USTA served as the title sponsor and host of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s indoor tennis center. The USTA also served as the title sponsor of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, the USTA/ITA National Collegiate Wheelchair Championships and more than 85 USTA/ITA Regional Tournaments. In all, close to 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships. The USTA also names its Collegiate Team, an elite training program for top American collegiate tennis players that began in 1996 and is funded by the USTA. It is designed to provide college players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment during the year. Current pros who were members of prior USTA Summer Collegiate Teams include: James Blake, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, John Isner, Mallory Burdette and Irina Falconi.