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

Tennis team reaches program high

The No. 4 Alabama women’s tennis team made a statement this weekend in the SEC, beating both Mississippi State and Ole Miss 4-0.

The Crimson Tide jumped from a No. 10 ranking to No. 4 this week, the highest Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking in program history. The team will continue its SEC schedule this weekend at LSU on Friday and Arkansas on Sunday.

“It’s awesome to be a part of, but it’s the beginning of the season as far as the SEC goes, so we have a long road ahead of us,” senior Mary Anne Daines said.

(See also “Women’s tennis has grown under Mainz“)

Alabama came out with a lot of intensity last weekend. The team started well in the doubles points, winning both, and the momentum from the doubles carried into the singles matches. Coach Jenny Mainz said the main point of practice this week is to keep the intensity up.

“We need to have the same intensity in practice this week – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – that we had this past weekend,” Mainz said.

Alabama hopes to use that intensity to get a head start and win the doubles point. Alabama has only lost two doubles points all year and is 8-1 after winning that point.

“I always use the analogy, ‘It’s like a dog grabbing on to a bone or something. You can’t pry the jaws apart; they have a good strong hold,’” Mainz said. “That’s what I envision us doing, getting in command of the doubles point early.”

(See also “Alabama women’s tennis team claims first SEC win“)

LSU (7-4, 0-2 SEC) lost their first two SEC matches last weekend to then-No. 8 Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Like LSU, Arkansas is looking for its first SEC win. Arkansas (5-6, 0-2 SEC) also played Vanderbilt and Kentucky over the weekend and lost to both.

Alabama is coming in with a better record than its opponents, but it still has to play on their home courts.

“It’ll be tough because our fans are awesome. We have some of the best fans in the country, but we know when you play away it’s the same, you’re on the court by yourself,” freshman Erin Routliffe said.

The matches this weekend will be Alabama’s first two road SEC matches, but they are not the first road matches they have had. The Crimson Tide played in two away tournaments early in the season.

“We have played a very good schedule and have been battle-tested,” Mainz said. “I feel like we are really well prepared.”

The Crimson Tide (10-2, 2-0 SEC) will travel to LSU on Friday for a 4 p.m. match and Arkansas on Sunday for a noon match.

“We have to be road warriors this weekend,” Mainz said.

(See also “Tide men’s tennis team prepares for tournament“)

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