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

Women’s tennis defeats Cavaliers in final match


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 kept pumping herself up with inspirational thoughts.

“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.”

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.

(See also “Alabama men’s tennis team seeks to improve record“)

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

Coach Jenny Mainz said the lead didn’t mean much because 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.”

(See also “Tide women’s tennis team takes down Georgia State“)

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.”

Zabor said it wasn’t her win, but 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.”

(See also “Great matches, upsets provide plenty of drama in tennis open“)

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