College tennis' best players convened in Flushing, N.Y. on Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for Day One of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. New York is well represented at this year’s event, as Long Island's Julia Elbaba from the University of Virginia won two doubles matches to advance to the quarterfinals. Julia was also successful in singles action, defeating the number six seeded seed Lauren Herring from Georgia 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the Round of 16 in Singles.
John McEnroe Tennis Academy player Jaime Loeb of Ossining, N.Y. from the University of North Carolina advanced as the top seed into the Round of 16 as well with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Florida's Sofie Oyen. Loeb advances to face UCLA's Chanelle Van Nguyen on Friday.
On the men’s side of the draw, it was New Yorker Winston Lin from Columbia University who also advanced to the Round of 16 with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Alex Sarkissian from Pepperdine. Lin will face Brett Clark from North Carolina on Friday.
The USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships serve as the culmination of the fall season. Hosted by Columbia University, this prestigious event features a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles draw for men and women. This year's event features more than 120 players from 46 schools.
On the women's side, defending singles champion Robin Anderson of UCLA, the second seed, defeated Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State 6-3, 6-4. Anderson played Loeb last month in the finals of the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships. Loeb became the first freshman since 2004 to win the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championship, knocking off the top-seeded Anderson, 6-4, 6-0.
Anderson, from nearby Matawan, N.J., said she was happy to be back after her great run to the title a year ago.
"My favorite moment [of my college career] was winning Indoors last year. It was pretty awesome, and I'm playing back at home." Anderson next faces Valentine Confalonieri of Lynn, the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl Women's Singles Champion.
The top two seeds were joined in round two by fourth seed Sabrina Santamaria of USC and seventh seed Hayley Carter of UNC. Third seed Beatrice Capra was upset by freshman Jennifer Brady of UCLA, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, while the fifth seed, Zsofi Susanyi of California, lost to Georgia's Maho Kowase 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Seventh seed Hayley Carter of UNC and eighth seed Silvia Garcia of Georgia both advanced in straight sets.
Five of eight seeded men advanced to the second round in the singles draw, though the tournament's top seed, Patrick Pradella of Baylor, fell. Pradella faced preseason number one Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee and the two played a hard-hitting match. The first set was a huge battle which ended in a tie-breaker, and Libietis faced a set point but won it 9-7. Libietis then got a key break in the second set to wrap up a hard-fought 7-6(7), 6-4 win.
"Everybody here is good," Libietis said. "If you want to win the tournament, you have to win five matches in a row. I actually liked it that the first match was really hard for me, so I can get ready for the next match."
Second seed Guillermo Alcorta of Oklahoma, the runner-up at the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships, made quick work of USC's Yannick Hanfmann, 6-1, 6-4, while third-seeded Julian Lenz of Baylor also won with ease over Mississippi's Nik Scholtz, 6-2, 6-2.
►Click here to view the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Women’s Singles draw.
►Click here to view the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Men’s Singles draw.