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

Tide prepares for Auburn

After finishing with a win against No. 55 Mississippi State 4-3 in Starkville, Miss., the Crimson Tide fell short the following Sunday against No. 17 Ole Miss.

Today, the No. 29 Alabama tennis team will travel to Birmingham to play against UAB at 1 p.m, and then travel to Samford University at 6 p.m to fight the Bulldogs.

“The matches this past weekend were similar,” said senior Houssam Yassine. “We were lucky to get down there with a win. We’re just going to go back to the courts and work hard to get ready for Auburn”

UAB enters the match after winning two of three matches against Conference-USA teams, while Samford comes into the match after having split a pair of matches in North Caroline the previous weekend.

Alabama goes into its first match of the dual meet with a 11-11 record (4-6 SEC). The Tide will be playing its in-state rival, No. 39 Auburn, on Saturday, following the football A-Day game.

The tennis team has also announced that the Auburn match will serve as their senior day, which for some players, like senior Saketh Myneni, a native of India, will add a new level of emotion to the match.

“My parents will be here for the Auburn match this weekend for the first time ever since they’ve never been to Alabama,” Myneni said. “They have no idea we are in-state rivals, but they are going to find out. You want to win your last home match of the year, especially with senior day. Its going to be our last college match ever so I definitely want to go out on top. There’s a lot of emotions going into it.”

Alabama has beat Auburn in tennis the past seven years. Last season, when Alabama played Auburn at home, there were around 715 fans at the match.

“Auburn’s our in-state rival so it’s always an emotional match,” said head coach Billy Pate. “It’s the season-ending match, there’s a lot of pride on the line, and the guys get it. It’s always a fight each time we’ve played them.

“The last couple years it’s come down to the last point, and we expect the same this year.”

After its efforts and split weekend last weekend, some players said the close matches have shown improvement on their side of the ball.

“I think we showed something different that we haven’t showed the past weekends,” Saketh said. “We really fought hard. I think the main thing is focus and the small thing is to work on each player’s weakness for the in-state rivals coming up.”

Alabama’s hopes are that many Tide fans come out to the game again this year to support the team in its final match of the season, and also to give them a competitive edge.

“It’s big,” Pate said. “Even if you have 10 people ganging up on your opponent, the opponent feels that. The fans are really vocal. When they get a good applause and hear their name cheered I think it motivates them and puts a spring in their step during the match.”

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