Alabama Bounces Back with 4-1 Win at South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Despite dropping the doubles point, the eighth-ranked women's tennis team came back to take four straight singles matches to beat South Carolina, 4-1, on Sunday at the USC Field House. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 14-2 on the season and 6-1 against Southeastern Conference opponents, while the loss drops the Gamecocks to 9-9 overall and 2-6 in the league.
South Carolina gained the early edge with wins in doubles on courts one and three. The matchup from the No. 1 position, featuring Alabama's sixth-ranked duo of senior Alexa Guarachi and junior Mary Anne Macfarlane against Gamecock senior Jaklin Alawi and junior Dominika Kanakova came down to the wire, but it would be Alawi and Kanakova earning the late break to win, 8-6. South Carolina junior Elixane Lechemia and freshman Ximena Siles Luna led by as many as four games on court three before Tide sophomore Emily Zabor and freshman Natalia Maynetto battled back to pull within one. The Gamecock team would hold on to take the final game to win 8-6, giving South Carolina the 1-0 lead heading into singles.
Alabama's top two singles players in Macfarlane and Guarachi wasted no time getting the Tide back in the match as they each picked up wins against ranked opponents in straight sets to put Alabama on top, 2-1. Both senior Antonia Foehse and freshman Maya Jansen dropped their first sets, but came back strong in the next two, defeating their respective Gamecock opponents in three sets. Foehse would clinch her sixth match of the season from the No. 4 position for Alabama, winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The remaining two matches on court were suspended once the overall match was decided.
Next up, the Tide returns home for a pair of matches against SEC Eastern Division foes in Kentucky and No. 16 Vanderbilt. Alabama will take on the Wildcats on Friday, March 29, at 3 p.m. CT and the Commodores on Sunday, March 31, at 1 p.m. CT.
1. Alawi/Kanakova (SC) def. No. 6 Guarachi/Macfarlane (UA) 8-6
2. Foehse/Jansen (UA) vs. Andersson/Popova (SC) 7-5, unf.
3. Luna/Lechemia (SC) def. Zabor/Maynetto (UA) 8-6
Order of Finish: 1,3
1. No. 25 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. No. 78 Jaklin Alawi (SC) 6-3, 6-4
2. No. 60 Alexa Guarachi (UA) def. No. 102 Katerina Popova (SC) 6-1, 6-4
3. No. 73 Maya Jansen (UA) def. Elixane Lechemia (SC) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
4. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Dominika Kanakova (SC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Emily Zabor (UA) vs. Ximena Siles Luna (SC) 4-5, unf.
6. No. 115 Natalia Maynetto (UA) vs. Josefin Andersson (SC) 4-4, unf.
Order of Finish: 2,1,3,4*