Alabama Women's Tennis set to host ITA Kick-Off Weekend
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The ninth-ranked women's tennis team will start off the dual-match season this weekend when it hosts Memphis, No. 20 Clemson and No. 24 ¬Tulsa in Tuscaloosa for ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Crimson Tide will take on Memphis in the first round on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT while Clemson and Tulsa will play in the second match of the day at 2 p.m. CT. The losers of both matches will then meet on Sunday at 10 a.m. CT while the winners will play at 2 p.m. CT for the opportunity to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. All of this weekend's matches will be played in the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility and admission is free.
Alabama returns to the courts after having a successful fall season where the team collected 52 wins in singles and added another 20 in doubles. Senior Alexa Guarachi earned a team-best 11 wins in singles, including seven against ranked opponents. In doubles, Guarachi and junior Mary Anne Macfarlane went 9-2 and won the Southern Regional Championship doubles crown to advance to the National Indoors where they would finish in the semifinals.
The Tide enters the dual-match season with four girls ranked in the top 125, including Macfarlane (12), Guarachi (13) and freshmen Maya Jansen (59) and Natalia Maynetto (105). Alabama also has two doubles teams ranked in the top 60 with Guarachi and Macfarlane making up the No. 2 team in the nation and Macfarlane and Jansen coming in at No. 60.
Memphis posted a pair of 7-0 sweeps to open its dual-match season last weekend, beating Lipscomb and UT Martin. The Tigers are led by seniors Courtney Collins and Kelly Gray, who achieved a program-best ranking of No. 18 in doubles. Memphis also has a second pair ranked nationally in doubles in junior Stefanie Mikesz and freshman Caroline Wegner (35).
Clemson finished the 2012 season ranked 25th, but will have to replace several key players from last year's squad that nearly knocked off Georgia in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers' roster is comprised of all underclassmen as it has no juniors or seniors; however, three of Clemson's singles players earned national rankings to start the season, including sophomores Yana Koroleva (32), Romy Koezler (69) and Beatrice Gumulya (77).
Tulsa enters the weekend already having played two dual matches, which the Golden Hurricane won by 7-0 decisions. Tulsa is led by junior Samantha Vickers, who is ranked 124th nationally in singles and ninth in the country in doubles with sophomore Isaura Enrique.
Live scoring will be available throughout the weekend and can be found by clicking here. Additionally, you can find more news on the women's tennis team by liking the Tide on Facebook or following the team on Twitter @AlabamaMTN.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, Jan. 26
10 a.m. - No. 1 seed Alabama vs. No. 4 seed Memphis
2 p.m. - No. 2 seed Tulsa vs. No. 3 seed Clemson
Sunday, Jan. 27
10 a.m. - Consolation Match
2 p.m. - Championship Match