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Lauren Embree reached the finals of the Riviera/ITA All-American Singles Championship.

Saturday October 6, 2012Lauren Embree to Play for Riviera/ITA All-American Singles Championship

Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Lauren Embree reached the finals of the Riviera/ITA All-American Singles Championship.

University of Florida senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) will play for the first national singles title of her illustrious career after defeating Southern California’s Danielle Lao in the semifinals of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships at the Riviera Tennis on Saturday.

 

Embree, who had reached the semifinals of a collegiate Grand Slam once prior to this event, advanced to the championship match after her 6-2, 7-5 victory against the 11th-ranked Trojan.

 

“Lauren is just incredible in big moments when the pressure in on,” UF associate head coach Dave Balogh said. “Southern California was playing great at the end and Lauren’s composure and ability to be aggressive was the difference. If she can continue to play aggressively, attack when she can and keep her first serve percentage up there, she’ll put herself in contention to win this national title.”

 

Embree has been the ultimate team competitor during her accomplished career, seemingly saving her best for dual matches, as she has provided the NCAA Team Championship point each of the last two years and was named the NCAA Championships Most Valuable Player both times.

 

She reached the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Singles Championships, where she was forced to retire because of injury after she and Stanford’s Stacey Tan split sets.

 

On Saturday, there was no denying Embree a shot at this trip to the final with the goal of capturing her first collegiate Grand Slam title.

 

“I thought I played really well,” Embree said. “I tried to be more aggressive on the bigger points and fought really hard. It’s definitely exciting to be in the final and I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

 

Embree’s finals opponent will be Virginia’s Julia Elbaba, who is the nation’s fourth-ranked freshman, on Sunday at 11 a.m. PST. Elbaba knocked off seventh-ranked Zoe Scandalis of Southern California, 6-3, 7-6, in her semifinal bout. Elbaba defeated Gator freshman Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) on Friday in the round of 16, handing the rookie her first singles defeat in 11 career matches.

 

Before facing Lao in the singles semifinal match, Embree and Collins earned a 9-7 upset victory against Texas Tech’s sixth-ranked team of Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo in the quarterfinals of the consolation doubles draw on Saturday.

 

“It was a good win,” Balogh said. “We played ok, but stayed together and really stepped up at the end of the match.”

 

The Gator tandem played again following Embree’s singles victory and upset UCLA’s second-ranked and top-seeded Courney Dolehide and Pamela Montez, 8-6, in the semifinals. They take the court again on Sunday at 9 a.m. PST.

 

The official tournament website is:

http://www.itatennis.com/Events/ITANationalChampionships/WomensAllAmerican.htm

 

 

 

2012 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships

Riviera Tennis Club

Pacific Palisades, Calif.

 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

 

UF Results Only

 

Singles, Semifinals

#6 Lauren Embree (3), Florida d. #11 Danielle Lao, Southern California, 6-2, 7-5

Julia Elbaba, Virginia d. #7 Zoe Scandalis (4), Southern California, 6-3, 7-6

 

Doubles, Consolation Quarterfinals

#15 Danielle Collins/Lauren Embree, Florida d. #6 Samantha Adams/Kenna Kilgo, Texas Tech, 9-7

#2 Courney Dolehide/Pamela Montez (1), UCLA d. #16 Milie Nichols/Olivia Smith, TCU, 8-3

 

 

Doubles, Consolation Semifinals

#15 Danielle Collins/Lauren Embree, Florida d. #2 Courney Dolehide/Pamela Montez (1), UCLA, 8-6

 

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