CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The ninth-ranked women's tennis team won its last match at the ITA Team Indoor Championships on Sunday over No. 11 Texas, 4-3. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 6-1 on the season while the loss drops the Longhorns to 2-3 overall.
"This experience playing in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships is undoubtedly going to help us in March, April and May," said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. "We took a giant step forward as a team this weekend. We were battle tested three consecutive days playing some of the best teams in the country. I was impressed with the level of play at this event. There's a lot of parity and a lot of really good teams."
Alabama's No. 1 doubles team of senior Alexa Guarachi and junior Mary Anne Macfarlane posted an 8-5 decision over Texas sophomore Noel Scott and freshman Breaunna Addison, but Texas would go on to win the remaining two doubles matchups in tiebreakers to take the 1-0 edge.
In singles, the Tide got straight-set wins from freshman Maya Jansen and senior Antonia Foehse on courts three and four, respectively, to pull ahead 2-1, before the Longhorns tied it up with a victory on court one. Freshman Natalia Maynetto gave Alabama the 3-2 advantage with a 7-6, 6-2 win on court six over junior Juliana Gajic, but again, Texas would tie it up, winning in three sets on court two. The match would come down to court five where sophomore Emily Zabor grinded through two close sets but dominated the third, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-0 to give the Tide the team victory.
"We finished the tournament with another gutsy performance beating a very solid Texas team," said Mainz. "After dropping the doubles point, the team showed their resiliency once again bouncing back and taking four out of six singles matches. Emily Zabor had a huge breakthrough today clinching the match with a 6-0 third set win. She has matured as a player and has elevated her game in the last four weeks."
Next up, Alabama returns to Tuscaloosa for a matchup with Washington on Friday, Feb. 15. First serve is slated for 3 p.m. CT at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
"I'm proud of this team for competing so hard this weekend," added Mainz. "They played together with one heartbeat and refused to relent. Everyone embraced their role and took care of their court. We have a lot of positives to build on from these matches. We'll call on this experience in April and May."
1. No. 2 Guarachi/Macfarlane (UA) def. Addison/Scott (UT) 8-5
2. Ellis/Begley (UT) def. Foehse/Jansen (UA) 8-7
3. Padegimaite/Rabinovich (UT) def. Ebada/Zabor (UA) 8-7
Order of Finish: 1,2,3
1. Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. No. 12 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) 6-4, 6-4
2. Breaunna Addison (UT) def. No. 13 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
3. No. 59 Maya Jansen (UA) def. No. 79 Noel Scott (UT) 6-0, 6-1
4. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Elizabeth Begley (UT) 6-4, 6-0
5. Emily Zabor (UA) def. soph Lina Padegimaite (UT) 6-4, 5-7, 6-0
6. No. 105 Natalia Maynetto (UA) def. Juliana Gajic (UT) 7-6, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3,4,1,6,2,5*