| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

The USTA has announced that Virginia’s Julia Elbaba of Oyster Bay, N.Y., the 2013 ITA Rookie of the Year, will join two-time defending NCAA women’s singles champion Nicole Gibbs of Stanford and NCAA men’s singles finalist Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia as the crop of American men’s and women’s college tennis players invited to the 2013 USTA Collegiate Team Camp/Playoffs, at which the 2013 USTA Collegiate Team will be finalized.

Administered by the USTA and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the USTA Collegiate Team is an elite training program for the nation's best collegians. It is designed to provide college players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment during the year. The program began in 1996 and is funded by the USTA.

The 2013 USTA Collegiate Team will include six men and six women, with each player earning his or her spot through merit. Twelve men and 12 women have been invited to the USTA Collegiate Team Camp/Playoffs, where the final members of the men’s and women’s teams will be determined. The women’s Camp/Playoff will be held the week of June 24 at the USTA Training Center – West in Carson, Calif. The men’s Camp/Playoff will be held the week of July 8 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

The players invited to the Camp/Playoffs are:

Andre Dome, Cal Poly (SR, Arroyo Grande, Calif.)
*Alex Domijan, Virginia (JR, Wesley Chapel, Fla.)
Jeremy Efferding, Texas A&M (SO, Boca Raton, Fla.)
Mitchell Frank, Virginia (FR, Annandale, Va.)
Marcos Giron, UCLA (SO, Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
*Jarmere Jenkins, Virginia (SR, College Park, Ga.)
Evan King, Michigan (SR, Chicago)
Peter Kobelt, Ohio State (JR, New Albany, Ohio)
Ryan Lipman, Vanderbilt (JR, Nashville, Tenn.)
Kyle McMorrow, Washington (SR, Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
*Dennis Novikov, UCLA (SO, San Jose, Calif.)
Ray Sarmiento, USC (JR, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)

*Robin Anderson, UCLA (SO, Matawan, N.J.)
Jacqueline Cako, Arizona State (SR, Brier, Wash.)
*Julia Elbaba, Virginia (FR, Oyster Bay, N.Y.)
*Lauren Embree, Florida (SR, Marco Island, Fla.)
*Nicole Gibbs, Stanford (JR, Santa Monica, Calif.)
*Krista Hardebeck, Stanford (FR, Santa Ana, Calif.)
Lauren Herring, Georgia (SO, Greenville, N.C.)
Danielle Lao, USC (SR, Arcadia, Calif.)
Kyle McPhillips, UCLA (FR, Willoughby, Ohio)
Sabrina Santamaria, USC (SO, Los Angeles)
Gina Suarez-Malaguti, North Carolina (SR, Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
Mary Weatherholt, Nebraska (SR, Prairie Village, Kan.)

* Already reserved spot on USTA Collegiate Team based on in-season achievement.

This year, both men’s and women’s teams will have two coaches, as well as assistance from USTA National Coach Dustin Taylor. Memphis head coach Lee Taylor-Walker and USC assistant West Nott will coach the women’s team, both for the first time. Oklahoma assistant Bo Hodge returns for his third year coaching the men’s team. He will be joined by Wake Forest assistant Brett Ross, in his first year coaching the Collegiate Team.

Elbaba helped Virginia to its third consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 berth and fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013. Elbaba led the Cavaliers with a 35-12 overall singles record and 18-9 mark in dual action. Elbaba's 35 victories established a new UVa record for first-year players and are second on the Cavalier single-season wins list behind Hardenbergh's 42 in 2011. Elbaba advanced to the finals of the ITA All-American in October and became the first Virginia women's seeded player (No. 9-16) in school history in the NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Championship.

Elbaba earned All-ACC and ACC Freshman of the Year honors and achieved a school-best number four singles ranking on Jan. 3. She finished 15th in the final ITA singles rankings.

All 24 players–the top eight Americans in the final ITA singles rankings and four wild cards selected by the USTA and ITA for both the men and the women–are invited to participate in the USTA Collegiate Team Camp. The invitees who have not already reserved a position on the team by meeting one of several benchmarks will play a round-robin tournament to determine the final team members.

Current pros who were members of prior USTA Collegiate Teams include John Isner, Bob and Mike Bryan, James Blake, Steve Johnson, Irina Falconi and Mallory Burdette.