Gators trio perfect at ITA Indoors

The University of Florida’s trio of Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) each won their respective first round singles matches at the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships at the USTA Billie Jean National King Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., on Thursday.

Embree, the No. 1 overall seed in the 32-player draw was the first Gator off the court, as she needed nearly two hours to post a 6-3, 7-5 victory against Ole Miss’ Caroline Rohde-Moe in the first round. The sixth-ranked Gator senior plays California’s fifth-ranked Zsofie Susanyi in the round of 16 on Friday. With Thursday’s victory Embree improved to 97-13 in her illustrious singles career, including a 6-0 record this year.

The talented Gator freshman Collins, knocked off Princeton’s Amanda Muliawan, 6-3, 6-3, in her opening round bout and will face Tennessee’s 18th-ranked Brynn Boren, who upset third-seeded and seventh-ranked Zoe Scandalis of Southern California in her first round match. Collins is 12-2 in her debut collegiate season.

Oyen drew Nicole Bartnik of Columbia University which is playing host to the national event and posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory. The Gator junior takes on Stanford’s Krista Hardebeck, the tournament’s No. 4 seed and listed as the nation’s top-ranked freshman, in the round of 16 on Friday.

“We were more aggressive today than on any other first day at the National Indoors than I can remember,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “Competition is going to be even tougher tomorrow and we must continue to play aggressive tennis.”

This four-day event is one of the collegiate Grand Slams and takes place at the home of the U.S. Open Championships. Hosted by Columbia University, this prestigious event features a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles draw.

Ken Thomas of will be on site at the National Indoors providing a live broadcast beginning at 10:15 am ET each day.

This is the third year for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships to be held at the home of the US Open. In an effort to draw more awareness to the event, this year’s Championships was pushed back a week to not conflict with the annual New York City Marathon. That decision proved to be a wise one with Hurricane Sandy hitting the East Coast early last week.

For complete coverage of the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, including access to draws, live scores and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Flushing. Use the hashtag #NationalIndoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term “NationalIndoors” to find others who are tweeting from the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, Nov. 8-11.

The remaining four Gators begin action at the Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Claycourt Tennis Tournament that begins Friday in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Athletes from Alabama, Miami, Memphis, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Tennessee are scheduled to compete in the three-day singles and doubles event. Action is scheduled to being at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.

Courtesy of UF Communications