Courtney Collins Preps to Travel with Team USA
Aug. 4, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn.--Rising University of Memphis junior Courtney Collins will make her way to California on Sunday to meet up with the rest of Team USA Tennis for final practices before heading to the 2011 World University Games. The group is scheduled to leave Tuesday for the games, which will take place in Shenzhen, China, from August 12-23.
Collins, a native of Fulton, Miss., was originally on a Team USA roster made up of nine Division I tennis athletes, which included five women. Now, with three of the females playing in other summer tournaments, Team USA's head coach Ryan Freeman informed Collins that she will have a heavily increased role.
"If you want to play professionally, you're going to play internationally," Collins said. "You're going to be traveling around with people you don't know that well and playing doubles with different people, so I'm ready to get the experience of playing in an event this big."
Initially expecting to play primarily in doubles, Collins will now participate in singles competition as well.
"It's gone from excitement for even being considered, to real excited to be on the team, to now playing in all the events," Memphis head coach Lee Taylor Walker said. "It's been real motivating for her. It's something different and new to get fired up for, rather than the same schedule every summer."
The Memphis netter currently sits ranked as the No. 116 singles player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls and recently picked up her first Women's Tennis Association (WTA) point on the summer circuit, becoming the first active women's tennis athlete at the U of M to achieve the accomplishment.
"I've been training a lot this summer just trying to prepare mentally and physically for what it's going to be like playing in a new environment," Collins said.
In her first two years donning the Blue and Gray, Collins compiled a 35-15 overall singles mark at the top two slots in the Lady Tigers' lineup and was the first U of M women's netter to garner first team all-conference honors in 2011. The Memphis standout was also named to C-USA's 2011 Women's Tennis All-Academic Team and is a two-time ITA All-Academic Award winner.
Rounding out Team USA will be Krista Damico from University of Texas, Michael Sicora and Phillip Arndt, both from the University of Minnesota, and team captain Gregory Hirshman from Stanford. The tennis roster will join over 9,000 student-athletes from 174 different countries competing in the summer games.