The formation of microvascular networks (MVNs) is influenced by many aspects of the microenvironment, including soluble and insoluble biochemical factors and the biophysical properties of the surrounding matrix. It has also become clear that a dynamic and reciprocal interaction between the matrix and cells influences cell behavior. In particular, local matrix remodeling may play a role in driving cellular behaviors, such as MVN formation. In order to explore the role of matrix remodeling, an in vitro model of MVN formation involving suspending human umbilical vein endothelial cells within collagen hydrogels was used. The resulting cell and matrix morphology were microscopically observed and quantitative metrics of MVN formation and collagen gathering were applied to the resulting images. The macroscopic compaction of collagen gels correlates with the extent of MVN formation in gels of different stiffness values, with compaction preceding elongation leading to MVN formation. Furthermore, the microscopic analysis of collagen between cells at early timepoints demonstrates the alignment and gathering of collagen between individual adjacent cells. The results presented are consistent with the hypothesis that endothelial cells need to gather and align collagen between them as an early step in MVN formation.