30 College Tennis Players to Watch

The 2013 fall season is in the books. Before the dual season gets cranked up in late January, here's a look back at some of the top performers over the last three months along with some of their accomplishments.  

Many of the top-ranked players lived up to their billing. The surprise was several freshman who stood out in both the men's and women's game. 

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Men's Fall MVP — Clay Thompson (UCLA)

The Bruin senior from Venice Beach went 18-1 in the fall winning the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship (NIIC) in New York, the Southern California Intercollegiate Championship in LA, and the consolation draw at the All Americans in Tulsa. 

Twelve of Clay's 18 wins came over ranked opponents with 3 wins over top 50 opponents (#17 Hiltzik , #23 Sarkissian, #36 Alcorta). Clay avenged his only loss to Oklahoma's Axel Alvarez by defeating the Sooner in the Semifinals of the NIICs.  

Women's Fall MVP — Jamie Loeb (North Carolina)

The Tar Heel freshman from Ossining, NY went 19-1 in the fall and won both of the first 2 majors by winning the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship (NIIC) in New York as well as the Riviera/ITA All American Championship in California. 

In Loeb's 20 fall matches she only dropped three total sets and in the 41 overall sets she played she only dropped more than three games in 10 of those sets. Every opponent Jamie faced was ranked except for one and she racked up seven wins over top-20 opponents (#1 Santamaria, #2 Anderson (twice), #3 Herring, #4 Susanyi, #13 Ahn, #16 Oyen).

Men's Honorable Mention (no order)

Jared Hiltzik (Illinois): The Illini sophomore from Wilmette, IL went 11-4 in singles with a runner-up finish at the NIICs and a Quarterfinal appearance at the All Americans. Hiltzik knocked off 8 ranked opponents with 3 Top 10 wins (#6 Giron, #8 Sarmiento (twice).

Guillermo Alcorta (Oklahoma): The Sooner senior from Bilbao, Spain went 7-2 in singles play with all 7 wins over ranked opponents with 6 of those ranked in the top 40 (#16 Pradella, #18 Hanfmann, #25 Quiroz, #32 Pasha, #35 Austin, #39 Piro). Alcorta made it to the finals at the All Americans and Quarterfinals at NIICs.

Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma): The Sooner sophomore from Asturias, Spain went 16-3 in singles with a Title at the USTA/ITA Central Regional and a Semifinal appearance at the NIICs. Alvarez knocked off 8 ranked opponents and handed Clay Thompson his only defeat of the fall. Axel also went 11-2 in doubles winning the HEB Intercollegiate with Nick Papac and making the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Central Regional with Guillermo Alcorta.  

Winston Lin (Columbia): The Lion junior from Williamsville, NY went 14-2 in singles with Titles at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional and The Ivy Plus. Lin also made it to the Quarterfinals at the NIICs and the Round of 16 at the All Americans while knocking off three ranked opponents (#23 Sarkissian, #49 Hemmeler, #80 Grant. 

Joran Vliegen (East Carolina): The Pirate senior from Maaselk, Belgium went 15-3 in singles with a title at the USTA/ITA Carolina Regional, a round of 16 appearance at the NIICs, and a quarterfinal appearance in the consolation draw at the All Americans. Vliegen knocked off six ranked opponents including (#3 Kobelt) and (#5 Bogaerts).  

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About the Author

Bobby Knightis an editor at CollegeTennisOnline, life long tennis player, fan and enthusiast who is looking to keep you informed on everything and anything that is college tennis.. For more information, visit collegetennisonline.com.

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