March 2, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The 25th-ranked women’s tennis team opened its 2012 Southeastern Conference slate with a 6-1 victory over Mississippi State on Friday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 6-2 on the season, while the Lady Bulldogs dip to 4-4 overall.
“I thought we had a good doubles point and came out ready to go,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “We have been consistently doing a good job of that. I thought Mississippi State competed very well. They started swinging and played a lot looser. I was impressed with their fight, and I think we beat a good team. We need to do a better job of finishing. When we are in those situations where we are up 40-15 or have a chance to get a break, we’ve got to do a better job of buckling down. I don’t think we did that in certain situations today, which helped Mississippi State get back in the match. That being said, I think it was a good match, and this is a good win.”
Alabama won its seventh doubles point in as many tries, giving up a combined eight games across the three courts. First to finish was the matchup on court two, where junior Antonia Foehse and sophomore Mary Anne Macfarlane downed senior Olesya Tsigvintseva and freshman Naomi Tran, 8-2. The Tide’s 30th-ranked duo on court one of senior Courtney McLane and junior Alexa Guarachi clinched the point moments later, posting an 8-3 decision against sophomores Khrystyna Pavlyuk and Alexandra Perper. Senior Taylor Lindsey and freshman Yasmine Ebada would complete the sweep in doubles thanks to a hard-fought 8-3 win on court three over junior Ekaterina Iakovleva and sophomore Roseline Dion.
Alabama got ahead quickly on most every court in singles and ended up winning the first set on five of the six courts. Guarachi, ranked 61 in the nation in singles, gave the Tide a 2-0 lead in the match as she recorded a 6-3, 6-3 win on court two over Iakovleva. Shortly after Guarachi finished, McLane made it a 3-0 advantage for Alabama as she posted a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Tsigvintseva on court three.
Following a significant gap in match completion, the Lady Bulldogs put up their first and only point of the match, which came on court six, as Pavlyuk edged freshman Emily Zabor, 6-4, 6-4. The remaining three matches on court would be played out in a third set, including the eventual clincher on court one, as 21st-ranked Macfarlane topped No. 91 Perper, 6-0, 3-6, 6-4. Foehse and Lindsey would follow on courts four and five, respectively, with Foehse outlasting Tran, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, while Lindsey tallied a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 win over Ferancova.
“The doubles has given us a boost every time, and it’s needed at the beginning of matches,” added Mainz. “I am proud of Mary Anne for pulling her match out. I told her that when she was finished. Her opponent can really bring it. Mary Anne did a really good job of fishing there. Courtney and Alexa really had decisive wins as well. This was a good one to get under our belt, but we are going to need to be ready to go full speed on Sunday.”
Alabama returns to the courts on Sunday, March 3, when the Tide hosts No. 18 Mississippi. The match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. CT.
1. No. 30 Guarachi/McLane (UA) def. Perper/Pavlyuk (MSU) 8-3
2. Foehse/Macfarlane (UA) def. Tsigvintseva/Tran (MSU) 8-2
3. Lindsey/Ebada (UA) def. Dion/Iakovleva (MSU) 8-3
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
1. No. 21 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) def. No. 91 Alexandra Perper (MSU) 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
2. No. 61 Alexa Guarachi (UA) def. Ekaterina Iakovleva (MSU) 6-3, 6-3 3
. Courtney McLane (UA) def. Olesya Tsigvintseva (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Antonia Foehse (UA) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-3, 5-7, 6-1
5. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
6. Khrystyna Pavlyuk (MSU) def. Emily Zabor (UA) 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 2,3,6,1*,4,5