Reigning NCAA champion Danielle Collins (University of Virginia), top-ranked Jamie Loeb (University of North Carolina), of nearby Ossining, N.Y., and Long Island-native Julia Elbaba (University of Virginia) are among the top college players set to compete in the 2014 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, set for Nov. 6-9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Loeb, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s number one-ranked player and reigning ITA Player of the Year, is the defending National Indoor champion and won the U.S. Open’s inaugural American Collegiate Invitational this fall, overcoming Oyster Bay’s Elbaba, ranked fifth by the ITA, in the final. Collins, the 2014 NCAA singles champion who pushed world No. 3 Simona Halep to three sets in the first round of the US Open in August, is one of several players in the women’s field with experience at Flushing Meadows. Brooklyn native Denise Starr (University of California), entered in doubles, is also among the local participants.
Baylor University’s Julian Lenz, the ITA’s top-ranked men’s player, leads a men’s field that includes eight of the Top 10 in the preseason college rankings, including 2014 NCAA singles semifinalist Søren Hess-Olesen, of the University of Texas, the University of Illinois’Jared Hiltzik, a National Indoor finalist last year, and Columbia University senior Winston Lin.
In total, 128 players from 52 schools will compete in singles or doubles at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, which will feature no-ad scoring in both singles and doubles. Additionally, James Blake, the former world number four and Harvard star, will speak at the players’ banquet on Wednesday night.
All four days of the event will feature a live chat on USTA.com and live scoring available on host Columbia University’s athletics Web site. Visit the ITA Web site’s event page for draws and further event information.
The tournament will have a 32-player singles field and 20-team doubles field for men and women, including: men’s and women’s champions from each of the 12 Division I USTA/ITA Regional Championships, the men’s and women’s USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl champion, the eight quarterfinalists of the ITA Men’s All-American Championships, the four semifinalists from the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships and the consolation winners from both, as well as at-large and wild card selections made by the ITA and USTA. Additionally, Columbia University, which is serving as the host school for the fourth consecutive year, receives a wild card entry into each draw.
The USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships were inaugurated in 1978 for the men and 1984 for the women. Past champions and finalists include John Isner(Georgia), Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford), James Blake (Harvard), Lisa Raymond(Florida), Steve Johnson (Southern California), Rhyne Williams (Tennessee), Irina Falconi(Georgia Tech), Maria Sanchez (Southern California) and Jarmere Jenkins (Virginia).