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

Guarachi, rain succeed in tournament play


On Oct. 5, three members of the Crimson Tide women’s tennis team set off for Pacific Palisades, Calif., to compete in the qualifying singles draw at the 2010 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships.

Sophomore Alexa Guarachi was the only Tide player to advance to the next round of contention with a big win over San Diego State senior Julia Trunk, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. According to head coach Jenny Mainz, Trunk was a solid player, and Guarachi truly earned her victory.

“She feels good about the way she played,” Mainz said. “She felt like she really had to grind it out. Keep in mind that they’re facing the best there is out there. She really rose to the occasion and gained some solid points.”

Alabama freshman Alex Clay and junior Courtney McLane also fought for a spot in the 32-woman bracket but fell just short in their respective singles matches.

Clay’s match started off as a winner when she faced Florida sophomore Caroline Hitimana. By the end of the contest Hitimana had hit too many fierce strikes in Clay’s direction for her to catch back up. The final score was 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

McLane’s match against Sonja Molnar, an Iowa junior, was a back-and-forth lead until McLane fell too far in the final set, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Guarachi and the other round-two players would have gone another bout on Tuesday; however, ill weather struck the city and the matches were postponed until the next day. Mainz hoped that the delay was beneficial to Guarachi, throwing the other player out of stride.

Assistant coach Rahim Esmail traveled with the girls to Los Angeles.  “We may not have won all the matches we would have liked to, but I thought we did a great job putting ourselves in the right situations,” Esmail said.

In the second day of competition, Guarachi was scheduled to face North Carolina State junior Sandhya Nagaraj in her first match, while Clay and McLane were scheduled to participate in consolation matches. However, the rainy weather would not let up, and Wednesday’s scheduled matches were cancelled.

Some of the best collegiate singles players from around the country attended the Riviera tournament and the Tide women saw the future of their season. To ensure crucial in-game positivity on day two, Mainz told the ladies to “control the points and play the points on your terms.”

Mainz said it is important for the team to see the best teams and face the greatest competitors in early October to be ready for championship competition in May.

“The caliber of play is comparable to the caliber of play in the NCAA championships,” Mainz said. “It’s a very high level of play and an even higher level of player.”

The Tide will continue its fall season matches at the ITA Southern Regional Championships in Birmingham on Oct. 22-25.

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