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 feels confidence going into SEC tournament

The No. 64 ranked Alabama women’s tennis team is traveling to Athens, Ga., this weekend for the SEC Championships. After a win Sunday at Auburn, the team is now 10-11 overall and 3-8 in the SEC, which earned them the No. 9 seed for the tournament heading into this weekend’s action.

The Tide opens up against the No. 8 seed LSU (9-14, 4-7 SEC) today. Earlier this year, LSU defeated Alabama 5-2 in Baton Rouge, La.

Head coach Jenny Mainz tried to emphasize the importance that this weekend comes with new opportunities.

“It’s a new season, and this weekend presents new opportunities,” she said.

“There is always a lot to play for,” said freshman Alexa Guarchi. “We just have to go out there and do the things we need to do and try and get the outcome we hope for.”

Mainz also said that the Crimson Tide is still hoping for a chance at postseason play and is trying to stay optimistic. The winner of the SEC Championship gets an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

This season has been difficult for the team. It began with high expectations that the team would be a top team in the conference and a top 10 or 15 team in the country.

But season-ending injuries to Taylor Lindsey and Tiffany Welcher hurt the Tide’s chances. Mainz said she was forced to play some people in different positions who weren’t necessarily comfortable playing there.

“You take out two critical players, and that certainly makes a difference,” she said. “The new people have had to step up, and we have had to capitalize …We have struggled to capitalize but have demonstrated a lot of fight and resiliency.”

The Tide has also had several close matches. Throughout the season, they have had a total of nine 4-3 matches, having only won three of them. Of the six losses, three of them were to top-20 teams.

But two players who have really stepped up as the season has progressed are Guarachi from Destin, Fla. and Antonia Foehse from Waldbroel, Germany.

Sophomore Courtney McLane from Lawrenceville, Ga. is also a part of the 17th-ranked doubles team in the nation with Guarachi.

“They have done an outstanding job and have made an immediate impact,” Mainz said. “They are certainly to be commended and have gotten it done.

Guarachi said it was quite different for her transitioning to college play.

“At first, it’s shocking,” she said. “All of the hard work and the long practices but it’s easier with all of your teammates helping. I’ve really gotten a lot better as far as being smarter and my strategies and knowing my goals on the court.”

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