No. 21 Tide Takes Down Rice, 6-1

Courtney McLane

Feb. 18, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 21st-ranked women's tennis team earned a 6-1 victory over Rice on Saturday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Indoor Tennis Facility. The Crimson Tide is now 2-1 on the season, while the Owls dropped to 6-2 with the loss.

"I thought we did a good job today," said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. "Rice is a good team. I felt like they played a good match and competed well. They are a much better team than their ranking of No. 69 indicates. We knew we had to come in and get a good start. I like a lot of things that we did. I felt like after not competing for three weeks, we had to knock a little rust off in certain spots, but we did a good job of getting into the matches early."

Alabama continued its dominating play in doubles, sweeping all three courts to remain a perfect 3-0 in doubles points this season. Courts one and two finished within moments of each other, but it would be the No. 1 duo of senior Courtney McLane and junior Alexa Guarachi clinching the point. The Tide's top team, ranked 39th in the nation, wrapped up their match in 8-3 fashion over Rice's 47th-ranked team of sophomore Dominique Harmath and freshman Natalie Beazant. On court two, Alabama junior Antonia Foehse and sophomore Mary Anne Macfarlane took the first four games before giving one up en route to an 8-2 victory over Owl senior Ana Guzman and junior Katie Gater. The matchup on court three started out close before the Tide tandem of senior Taylor Lindsey and freshman Yasmine Ebada took their first lead with a break to pull ahead 4-3. They would go on to claim four of the last five games over Rice sophomore Kimberly Anicete and freshman Stephanie Nguyen, eventually serving for the match and taking the 8-4 win.

McLane would be the first to finish in singles for Alabama, cruising to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Guzman. The Tide senior won 11 straight games before giving up just a single game in the entire match. Foehse was next to win for Alabama, posting a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Anicete on court five. With an identical score, Lindsey clinched the team victory minutes later at No. 6 with a win over Nguyen.

The Tide went on to win two of the final three singles matches as 40th-ranked Guarachi battled back after being down in the second to beat Harmath, 6-1, 7-5 on court two, while sophomore Alex Clay came back after dropping her first set to beat Gater, 1-6, 6-4, 1-0(3). The Owls' lone point came on court one, as Beazant and No. 15 Macfarlane went neck-and-neck in the first set, which eventually went in favor of Beazant, 7-5. The Rice freshman went on to take the second set 6-0 for the point.

"We've got some things we need to work on," added Mainz. "I think in a couple situations we got a little bit sloppy, and we need to tighten that up. That's the difference in taking it to the next level."

Alabama returns to action on Sunday when it hosts SMU at Noon.

1. No. 39 Guarachi/McLane (UA) def. No. 47 Beazant/Harmath (RICE) 8-3
2. Foehse/Macfarlane (UA) def. Guzman/Gater (RICE) 8-2
3. Lindsey/Ebada (UA) def. Anicete/Nguyen (RICE) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2,1,3

1. Natalie Beazant (RICE) def. No. 15 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) 7-5, 6-0
2. No. 40 Alexa Guarachi (UA) def. Dominique Harmath (RICE) 6-1, 7-5
3. Courtney McLane (UA) def. Ana Guzman (RICE) 6-0, 6-1
4. Alex Clay (UA) Katie Gater (RICE) 1-6, 6-4, 1-0(3)
5. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Kimberly Anicete (RICE) 6-1, 6-3
6. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Stephanie Nguyen (RICE) 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3,5,6*,1,2,4