Feb. 25, 2012
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -
The women’s tennis team (5-1) earned wins over Oklahoma State (4-2) and Illinois (5-3) on Saturday to move onto the championship match of the 2012 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, which is being held at Lagoon Park. The Crimson Tide opened the day with a 4-1 win against the Cowgirls and edged out the Illini, 4-3, in the afternoon match. The final match against No. 12 Virginia is slated to begin at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday.
“We got two good wins today,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “I am really pleased with the way we played these tough back-to-back matches. We competed well and had resiliency. I definitely think our team got better today.”
In the morning match against the Cowgirls, Alabama got on top early with a 2-0 lead, thanks to wins on courts one and two. Junior Alexa Guarachi, ranked 40th in the nation, was first to finish with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 2 over Oklahoma State junior Malika Rose. Tide sophomore Mary Anne Macfarlane, the No. 15 singles player in the nation, followed Guarachi with a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Cowgirl junior C.C. Sardina. Oklahoma State would claim its only point of the match on court four as sophomore Kanyapat Narattana topped sophomore Alex Clay, 6-2, 6-3.
The Cowgirls won first sets on the remaining three courts, but Alabama came back on all three to force third sets. Tide senior Taylor Lindsey, after dropping her first set 6-4 to freshman Isabela Miro, came back to dominate in the final two sets 6-1, 6-0 on court six. Junior Antonia Foehse ended up clinching the match on court five with a 3-6, 6-0, 7-5 win over freshman Mary Jeremiah, advancing Alabama to the winning draw.
“OSU was a tough team,” said Mainz. “They got on us early and put a lot of pressure on us. They won the first set on three of the courts. It was impressive. We showed a lot of maturity and a lot of poise getting back in those matches we were down in. Toni (Antonia Foehse) really turned it around and decided she was going to win that match. She started playing more convincing and made things happen. Taylor did a great job as well in that second set. Courtney may not have been able to finish her match, but I think our veteran leadership showed up today.”
The afternoon match against Illinois was a battle from start to finish as the two teams split the singles matches and had to play doubles to decide the winner. Alabama would walk away with the point, as it has all year, picking up victories on courts one and two. The Tide’s No. 1 doubles team of Guarachi and McLane, ranked 39th in the nation, cruised to an 8-2 win over sophomore Allison Falkin and junior Rachel White. On court two, the match was on serve until Macfarlane and Foehse separated themselves late in the set to earn an 8-5 decision over senior Marisa Lambropoulos and freshman Melissa Kopinski.
In singles, the Tide got wins on courts one, four and five. Macfarlane dominated at the No. 1 spot with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Lambropoulos, while Foehse edged out White on court four, 7-5, 6-4. Lindsey would post a 6-1, 6-4 victory on court five against senior Chelcie Abajian.
“Illinois was solid all the way through and really came after us,” added Mainz. “Obviously it came down to the wire, and we were unable to finish in singles. I thought it was a really good test for our team. I think we will gain a lot from being in this pressure situation this early in the season. It came down to Alexa’s match and she just couldn’t pull this one out. She has been playing well all year, and I have a lot of faith in her. Today, she was a little hesitant, but I really believe she will take a lot out of that match heading into SEC season. The way she responded in doubles is what we would want to see. I told the girls it was our response that would matter. We did respond really well and came out firing in doubles. We have a lot of confidence in our doubles, and I think that showed true.”
For more information on the tournament, visit BlueGrayTennis.com.
RESULTS VS. OKLAHOMA STATE
1. No. 15 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. C.C. Sardina (OSU) 6-4, 6-2
2. No. 40 Alexa Guarachi (UA) def. Malika Rose (OSU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Courtney McLane (UA) vs. Meghan Blevins (OSU) 3-6, 6-3, 2-4, unf.
4. Kanyapat Narattana (OSU) def. Alex Clay (UA) 6-2, 6-3
5. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Mary Jeremiah (OSU) 3-6, 6-0, 7-5
6. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Isabela Miro (OSU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
Order of Finish: 2,1,4,6,5*
RESULTS VS. ILLINOIS
1. Guarachi/McLane (UA) def. Falkin/White (ILL) 8-2
2. Macfarlane/Foehse (UA) def. Lambropoulos/Kopinski (ILL) 8-5
3. Lindsey/Ebada (UA) vs. Jamieson/Abajian (ILL) 4-6, unf.
Order of Finish: 1,2
1. No. 15 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. Marisa Lambropoulos (ILL) 6-2, 6-1
2. Allison Falkin (ILL) def. No. 40 Alexa Guarachi (UA) 1-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Courtney McLane (UA) 6-1, 6-3
4. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Rachel White (ILL) 7-5, 6-4
5. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Chelcie Abajian (ILL) 6-1, 6-4
6. Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Yasmine Ebada (UA) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1,5,3,6,4,2