No. 25 Tide Dominates No. 18 Rebels, 5-2
March 4, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 25th-ranked women’s tennis team downed No. 18 Mississippi, 5-2, on Sunday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Rebels dip to 8-5 on the season and 1-1 against league foes.
“This was a tremendous team effort and a big win for the Tide today,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “Mississippi is always a good SEC West rival for us. This is a team that has been battle tested early and is deep. They are young, but their freshmen have done a great job of stepping up. We knew we were going to bring our best today.”
Alabama, once again, dominated the doubles point, winning matches on courts two and three, while nearly coming back to complete the sweep on court one. Junior Antonia Foehse and sophomore Mary Anne Macfarlane were first to rope in a win for the Tide, posting an 8-3 win over Mississippi senior Gabby Rangel and freshman Erin Stephens. Alabama’s No. 3 duo of senior Taylor Lindsey and freshman Yasmine Ebada provided the second win to secure the doubles point as they edged out freshmen Julia Jones and Iris Verboven, 8-6, despite being down 5-3. The Rebels would go on to win the match on court one as their seventh-ranked team of seniors Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie held on for the 9-8(4) victory over Alabama’s 30th-ranked team of senior Courtney McLane and junior Alexa Guarachi. McLane and Guarachi were down 7-3 in the match and fought back to send it into a tiebreaker. The Rebels got out to a 3-0 lead, which was just enough to distance themselves for the win.
The Tide came out strong in singles, winning four of the six first sets. Lindsey would be first to finish, avenging her loss to Mississippi sophomore Vivian Vlaar from a season ago, to win 6-1, 6-3 on court six. Guarachi, ranked 61st was spot-on Sunday, downing sophomore Carolina Rohde-Moe, ranked 63rd, 6-1, 6-2. The Rebels would earn their lone point on court one in a battle of top-25 opponents as No. 22 Boxx would advance past No. 21 Macfarlane, 6-3, 6-3. Foehse provided the clinching win for the Tide on court five, fighting through a series of deuces in the final game to win 7-6(4), 6-4 over Guthrie.
The remaining two matches would be played out in third sets, where McLane would beat Stephens, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, while Jones topped sophomore Alex Clay, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“I thought we competed well and competed hard, but this was a tough win to get,” added Mainz. “We did a fantastic job from top to bottom. I think the two players that did not get to play in singles today (Yasmine Ebada and Emily Zabor) did a great job of getting behind matches and providing energy and support. This is a big one for us to get. I look for Mississippi to finish the season strong.”
Alabama will play its first set of SEC road matches next weekend when the Tide heads to LSU and Arkansas. Friday’s match against the Tigers is set to begin at 3 p.m. CT, while Sunday’s match versus the Razorbacks will start at Noon CT.