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

Zabor wins match, Tide wins 4-3

With the team score tied 3-3, it came down to junior Emily Zabor to finish the match. Tied in the third set, Zabor and her opponent volleyed back and forth, unable to get a firm lead.

As the crowd got quiet, Zabor had one thought in her head—to focus and relax. Zabor kept pumping herself up with inspirational thoughts to succeed.

“I just kept telling myself you can do this, I believe in you,” Zabor said. “And then technical stuff—good feet and swing through. I think it’s really hard in situations like that when you’re the last person on the court and you might’ve been down … Tennis is such a mental game that stuff, negative things, can creep in really easily.”

Zabor quickly bounced the tennis ball, sending the crowd into a nervous frenzy. One quick serve and the match was over.

The No. 16 Crimson Tide upset No. 10 Virginia 4-3 on Saturday at the Baumgartner Indoor Tennis Facility. Alabama (5-2) faced Virginia a week ago but lost 4-1.

Compared to last weekend up in Virginia, Alabama came out fast and made each point count. The Crimson Tide won the doubles point quickly and then finished two singles matches. Alabama was up 3-0 before Virginia caught momentum.

Coach Jenny Mainz said the lead didn’t mean much, she wanted her team to keep fighting.

“It’s deceiving, the match score can be very deceiving,” Mainz said. “We won the doubles point in a very well fought doubles point. I thought we executed really well, did a very good job of finishing. We didn’t get sloppy and that gave us momentum and [we] stepped it up big time.

“I thought we did a really good job at just staying the course, not getting too excitable. After we won the doubles, I said it’s 0-0. They’re a really good team, well coached…We knew it was going to be a very close, hard fought match.”

Conceding one point early in the singles matches, three players were still battling—Maya Jansen, Erin Routliffe and Zabor. Routliffe fell first while Jansen and Zabor battled on. Jansen struggled to control the court and left Zabor the last one standing.

“I knew my game plan in the first set and I executed it but I went away from it and started to get frustrated,” Jansen said. “I knew what I was supposed to do but I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t getting frustrated with my shot selection but the fact that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing.”

Despite being tied 3-3, Zabor was determined to win for her team. She said it wasn’t her win, it was an “Alabama win.”

“If we put the work in, it’s going to pay off,” Zabor said. “I think it’s sometimes hard to see tangible results but getting the win this weekend really helped us. As a team, we can beat anybody.”

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