TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The eighth-ranked women’s tennis team battled its way to a 4-3 victory over No. 21 Texas Tech on Friday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 8-1 overall while the loss drops the Red Raiders to 6-3 on the season.
“I knew Texas Tech was a tenacious team,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “We all knew this was going to be a dog fight, and it was. I could not be more proud of the spirit and fight we showed. It’s a testament to the character of this team. This is a great win.”
Texas Tech would take the 1-0 lead after winning at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. First to finish was the matchup on court three where Red Raider seniors Elizabeth Ullathorne and Caroline Starck jumped out early to earn an 8-3 win over Tide sophomore Emily Zabor and freshman Natalia Maynetto. Alabama evened the field as senior Antonia Foehse and freshman Maya Jansen came back from a 5-2 deficit to beat Texas Tech juniors Rashmi Teltumbde and Nikki Sanders, ranked 58th in the nation, 8-6. The point came down to the matchup at No. 1, which was going in the Tide’s favor early on; however Red Raider junior Samantha Adams and sophomore Kenna Kilgo fought their way back into the match and held on in the end to beat Alabama senior Alexa Guarachi and junior Mary Anne Macfarlane, 8-5.
In singles, Macfarlane wasted no time at the top spot, claiming a 6-1, 6-2 victory over 80th-ranked Adams. It would be quite some time before another match finished as they were highly contested throughout. Zabor gave the Tide a 2-1 edge, winning four straight games at the end of the second set to come back and take her match 6-3, 7-5 on court five. Minutes later, Jansen would mirror Zabor as she won four consecutive games to battle her way back to a 6-3, 7-5 victory on court three. Texas Tech would even the match with wins on courts two and six, both coming in three sets, leaving decisive fourth point to the match on court four. After dropping her first set, Foehse posted a 6-3 victory in the second to force a third set. The Tide senior broke Ullathorne to pull in front 3-2 and held in the next game for the 4-2 advantage. Ullathorne would break back and eventually tie the set at 4-4, but Foehse closed out strong, taking the next two games to win the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“The response we showed after doubles was the most impressive part of the match,” added Mainz. “Texas Tech is as good a team as we’ve played all season, and this was truly one of the best college tennis matches I have been a part of in my career.”
Alabama will now start the Southeastern Conference portion of its schedule, opening up at Mississippi and Mississippi State next weekend. The Tide will face the Rebels on Friday, March 1, at 3 p.m., while the match against the Bulldogs is slated for Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m. CT.
1. Adams/Kilgo (TTU) def. No. 2 Guarachi/Macfarlane (UA) 8-5
2. Jansen/Foehse (UA) def. No. 58 Teltumbde/Sanders (TTU) 8-6
3. Ullathorne/Starck (TTU) def. Zabor/Maynetto (UA) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3,2,1
1. No. 20 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. No. 80 Samantha Adams (TTU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Kenna Kilgo (TTU) def. No. 22 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
3. No. 69 Maya Jansen (UA) def. Sandra Dynka (TTU) 6-3, 7-5
4. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TTU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Emily Zabor (UA) def. Nikki Sanders (TTU) 6-3, 7-5
6. Caroline Starck (TTU) def. No. 89 Natalia Maynetto (UA) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1,5,3,2,6,4*