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 women’s tennis team hosts final home matches

The No. 5 Alabama women’s tennis team continues its SEC slate against the No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies and the Missouri Tigers this weekend. Alabama will return home after splitting its road matches. The Crimson Tide is coming off a win against Kentucky and a loss to No. 8 Vanderbilt.

“I didn’t think we were as prepared Friday as we should have been,” coach Jenny Mainz said. “As the schedule gets tougher and the opponents get tougher, there’s very little margin for error.”

(See also “Alabama women’s tennis team prepares for tough competition“)

The loss to Vanderbilt was Alabama’s first SEC loss of the season. The Tide lost 4-2 Friday but bounced back Sunday with a 4-0 shutout win over Kentucky. Alabama is still tied at the top of the SEC standings with an 8-1 conference record and a 16-3 overall record. No. 8 Vanderbilt (8-1) and No. 2 Georgia (8-1) also only have one loss.

“I thought we had a really good response at Kentucky,” Mainz said. “I thought it was a good win on the road.”

On Friday, Alabama will face another SEC team. Texas A&M is only one loss behind Alabama in the SEC standings with a 7-2 record. A&M has beaten five ranked teams already this season, and the team reached the finals of the National Championship last year. The Aggies have a top-10 ranking and an overall record of 14-4.

“Well we lost against them last time,” junior Luicelena Perez said. “We are coming after them for sure.”

Alabama will face Missouri on Sunday. Missouri (6-17, 0-9 SEC) hasn’t been as successful in the SEC. The Tigers are still looking for their first SEC win.

“Every match in the SEC is a tough match, and so you have to prepare for it like it’s the best opponent you are going to play,” senior Mary Anne Daines said.

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

For Alabama, these are the last two home matches of the season. Sunday will be senior day for Daines. She is the only senior on the team and has led the team this year to program highs. She has played No. 1 singles all four years, and the program has been at its peak since she has arrived. On Sunday, she will say goodbye to the Crimson Tide.

“She’s been a pioneer for us,” Mainz said. “She’s taken us to national prominence. She could’ve gone anywhere. Everyone in the country recruited her, but she chose Alabama because she had the opportunity to change the face of the program, to be the pioneer.”

The SEC race is close, and the last few matches will determine who wins the regular season. Standings will also help determine the seeding for the SEC tournament that starts April 16.

“You want to place yourself in the best position possible to be successful, so we have to take care of business,” Mainz said.

(See also “Tennis team reaches program high“)

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