TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The ninth-ranked women’s tennis team advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time in the history of the 64-team draw with a 4-0 win over Memphis on Saturday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. The Crimson Tide will now face No. 8 California on Friday, May 17, at 9 a.m. CT in Urbana, Ill.
“I am so proud of this team,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “They have worked so hard and have been so diligent. To get where we are is a compilation of years. It’s all the players that have played at Alabama through the years and the commitment to excellence, the sacrifices everyone has made and the belief that Alabama can win in women’s tennis.”
Alabama (21-5) made quick work of Memphis (18-7) in doubles, winning on courts one and two to take the first point. The Tide’s seventh-ranked duo of Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane put forth an impressive performance, winning seven straight games to eventually take the match, 8-1, over Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibberd. Alabama had match point opportunities on both two and three, however it would be Antonia Foehse and Maya Jansen, ranked 83rd, with the 8-5 win over No. 77 Kelly Gray and Courtney Collins. The Tide trailed early in the match, but at 4-4, Foehse and Jansen would give up just one more game en route to the victory.
Alabama continued rolling along in singles, but a rain delay forced a one-hour stoppage in play. Following the break, 36th-ranked Guarachi battled through a series of tough points with Welcher to take the first singles point of the match, putting the Tide on top 2-0. She was followed closely by 118th-ranked Jansen, who won the final four points of her match to take a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Memphis’ Skylar Kuykendall. The match would be clinched on court six by Emily Zabor, who played a solid pair of sets, winning 6-4, 6-2 over Hibberd.
“We’ve had a couple great seasons here in the last couple years,” added Mainz. “Mary Anne Macfarlane and Alexa Guarachi committing to The University of Alabama has catapulted us and made a vast difference. I’m proud of the team, I’m proud of their efforts, and I’m proud of their commitment to each other. We’ve played together through the good, the bad and the ugly. We haven’t had any easy matches, and we’ve found a way to get it done.”
1. No. 7 Guarachi/Macfarlane (UA) def. Welcher/Hibberd (MEM) 8-1
2. No. 83 Foehse/Jansen (UA) def. No. 77 Gray/Collins (MEM) 8-5
3. Maynetto/Zabor (UA) vs. No. 64 Mikesz/Wegner (MEM) 7-2, unf.
Order of Finish: 1,2
1. No. 34 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) vs. No. 55 Courtney Collins (MEM) 6-4, 1-4, unf.
2. No. 36 Alexa Guarachi (UA) def. Tiffany Welcher (MEM) 6-4, 6-3
3. No. 118 Maya Jansen (UA) def. Skylar Kuykendall (MEM) 6-3, 6-2
4. Antonia Foehse (UA) vs. Liza Tymchenko (MEM) 6-2, 5-4, unf.
5. Natalia Maynetto (UA) vs. Caroline Wegner (MEM) 5-7, 3-3, unf.
6. Emily Zabor (UA) def. Alyssa Hibberd (MEM) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 2,3,6