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, Auburn host classic in Montgomery

Coming off its biggest win of the season, the No. 16 Alabama women’s tennis team is heading down to Montgomery for the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic. The tournament will feature eight teams from around the country and will be hosted by Alabama and No. 20 Auburn.

“It’s going to be a great field,” coach Jenny Mainz said. “It’s a premier college event.”

The field includes two other top-25 teams, No. 19 Texas Tech and No. 23 Rice. Illinois, Oklahoma State, Tulane and Yale round out the competition. A total of eight teams will battle it out to decide a winner.

“One of the things that is real exciting is that we are going as Alabama tennis,” Mainz said. “This is the only event we really get to do this. It should be exciting.”

(See also “Women’s tennis defeats Cavaliers in final match“)

The Alabama men’s team will also be playing in the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic. Both teams will travel together and both tournaments will be going on at the same time. The women say they are excited to have the men as fans and are happy to be fans of the men themselves.

“Its going to help us a lot,” junior Luicelena Perez said. “Its going to be fun too. We’re good friends, and it’s good opportunity for both of us to perform there together.”

Saturday, Alabama upset the No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers 4-3. Alabama fell to the Cavaliers the week before in the ITA Collegiate Indoor Championships. The revenge against Virginia helped Alabama’s confidence.

“I think it’s a big confidence builder,” Mainz said. “A big boost.”

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

Junior Emily Zabor was the difference in the match. When the match was tied 3-3, Zabor finished strong and won the clinching point against Virginia.

“It was tangible evidence of what we can do this season,” Zabor said. “Getting that win against them just told us what we have the opportunity to do.”

Alabama has had a tough schedule so far and has played well. The only two losses have come against No. 9 USC and the first match against Virginia. The tough schedule has given Alabama a lot of experience already.

“I feel the schedule we have played thus far has prepared us well for Blue Gray and then for the SEC campaign,” Mainz said.

The tournament begins Friday and will be played throughout the weekend. Even if Alabama loses, the team will play consolation matches Saturday and Sunday. Zabor knows what kind of mindset Alabama has to have.

“We are not going into the tournament thinking, ‘Oh shoot, we don’t want to lose,’” Zabor said. “We are going into it thinking, ‘We want to take this thing, and we want to continue to build on what Alabama is doing now.’”

(See also “Women’s tennis team to host first spring home meet“)

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