Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama women’s tennis eager ahead of 2023-2024 season

Courtesy of UA Athletics

As the 2023-24 tennis season kicks off, there are some significant changes bringing excitement and eagerness to the players and coaches of the Alabama women’s tennis team. 

“It is about having the right intensity, body language and the right attitude, and that is what we are focusing on,” head coach Jonatan Berhane said. 

This season, the Crimson Tide will have a familiar but new coaching staff. First-year head coach Berhane will lead the team after being with the team for five seasons as he replaces Jenny Mainz, who retired at the end of last season after 26 seasons. Assistant coach Alba Cortina Pou is also making her coaching debut after playing for the Crimson Tide from 2017 to 2021. 

“For me the transition felt pretty organic because I’ve been here for five years as a coach, so I’m used to sports oversight, all of the administration and everyone we work with on a daily basis,” Berhane said. 

The team is returning seven of the 10 players on the team and adding one freshman and a transfer from Charlotte. New freshman Priya Nelson comes in as the No. 1 recruit out of California and one of the top five nationally. Transfer graduate student Margaux Maquet is making the transition from the Conference USA to the SEC.  

Maquet is embarking on a new journey by joining the Crimson Tide this year, coming from a Group of Five to a Power Five program, and starting a new team. During the 2022-23 season, she had an overall singles record of 23-10 with a doubles team record of 27-10.  

“[Alabama has a] good program, facilities are great, nice girls and good coaches. I’m excited to see how the season goes,” Maquet said. “Everything is made for the athlete. There are so many people around us to take care of everything.”  

Returning senior Anne Marie Hiser was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and has stayed with the Crimson Tide ever since. During the 2022-23 season, Hiser had an overall singles record of 11-4, going 6-3 in conference play and had an overall doubles team record of 10-10. When talking about the team chemistry this season, Hiser had a lot of good things to say about the team.  

“The team chemistry is awesome,” Hiser said. “We are really close; we do a lot of things together outside of the court and that’s really showing on the court. I’m really looking forward to the girls and team aspect, playing together and playing for Bama and having fun.”  

The 2022-23 team did not have a great year. It had an overall record of 12-12, going 5-8 in conference play and losing at Auburn 3-4. They seemed to play better at home with a home record of 7-3. This year’s team is excited to play Auburn, as the match will be held in Tuscaloosa on Alabama’s senior night.  

“I am looking forward to the Auburn match because it’s senior night and it is a Friday night, so we are looking forward to having all the fans out supporting us,” Hiser said. 

The team will start off its season at the Debbie Southern Furman Classic, which is the first tournament of the fall. This tournament will be a good start for the team as they will get to see how they play together and where they can improve going forward during the season.   

“I am excited to see where the girls are, and it is going to be a good test because there will be basically be top 25 teams with Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Duke and UNC — all the best teams in the country. I feel like this is a great opportunity for our girls,” Berhane said. 

The team has been working hard, putting in time and effort to get better, and now, with the season starting, they will have the chance to prove to everyone how hard they have been working. 

“Our team’s phrase for this year is ‘maximum effort’. Everything we do, we do to the best of our ability. It’s about working hard putting in the time and effort,” Berhane said. 

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