No. 14 Alabama Women's Tennis Downs TCU, 5-2

Alex Clay

March 18, 2012

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 14th-ranked women’s tennis team picked up a hard-fought 5-2 win on Sunday over TCU at the Alabama Tennis Center. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 10-2 on the season, while the Horned Frogs dip to 7-3 overall.

“We continue to find ways to work through pressure situations where our backs are against the wall,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “The difference is we played the bigger points better today. Credit to TCU though. I thought they fought hard, and they are definitely a sleeper team. I knew this was going to be a tough match.”

In what was one of the more exciting doubles points of the season, Alabama came back to sweep all three matches for the point. The Tide jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on court one, eventually taking the match 8-3 as Alabama’s 18th-ranked duo of senior Courtney McLane and junior Alexa Guarachi topped 59th-ranked junior Olivia Smith and sophomore Millie Nichols. Conversely, the Frogs took 3-0 leads on the remaining two courts. At No. 3, TCU senior Gaby Mastromarino and freshman Simona Parajova found themselves up 6-3 late in the match, but Tide senior Taylor Lindsey and freshman Yasmine Ebada battled back to even the match at 7-7 before winning the final two games for the 9-7 victory. Moments later, Alabama’s 68th-ranked team of junior Antonia Foehse and sophomore Mary Anne Macfarlane posted another 9-7 win for the Tide in comeback fashion over juniors Federica Denti and Kelsey Sundaram.

Alabama would take a 2-0 lead with a win on court six as freshman Emily Zabor led Mastromarino 7-5, 3-0 before Mastromarino would retire due to injury. The Tide then got wins on court four and court three to earn the team victory, with the clincher coming from McLane at the No. 3 spot. Sophomore Alex Clay first gave Alabama a 3-0 lead with her 6-4, 6-2 win over Denti at No. 4. McLane then followed that up with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat over Smith.

TCU earned its first point of the afternoon with a win on court five as Nichols edged out Lindsey in a third-set tiebreaker to take the match, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(8). Guarachi, ranked 57th in singles, recorded the biggest comeback of the match in singles as she battled from a 5-1 deficit in the first set to tie the frame at 5-5, eventually dropping the first 7-5. She then fought back to take the remaining sets 6-4, 1-0(8) for the win against Parajova on court two. On court one, Frog freshman Stefanie Tan was able to outlast 23rd-ranked Macfarlane, 6-2, 6-7(4), 1-0(5), giving the final point to TCU.

“The doubles point was huge,” added Mainz. “In singles, I thought we came out strong on four of the courts. Emily Zabor did a great job winning on court six, and Courtney and Taylor also did a good job of pulling out first sets to give us momentum. Alex Clay did a great job today. Credit to Alexa for fighting her way back into that match too. Overall, this was a great team win today. This will give us a bit of a boost as we head back into SEC play.”

Next up, Alabama hosts Vanderbilt on Friday, March 23, at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. First serve is slated for 3 p.m. CT.

1. No. 18 Guarachi/McLane (UA) def. No. 59 Nichols/Smith (TCU) 8-3
2. No. 68 Macfarlane/Foehse (UA) def. Denti/Sundaram (TCU) 9-7
3. Lindsey/Ebada (UA) def. Mastromarino/Parajova (TCU) 9-7
Order of Finish: 1,3,2

1. Stefanie Tan (TCU) def. No. 23 Mary Anne Macfarlane (UA) 6-2, 6-7(4), 1-0(5)
2. No. 57 Alexa Guarachi (UA) def. Simona Parajova (TCU) 5-7, 6-4, 1-0(8)
3. Courtney McLane (UA) def. Olivia Smith (TCU) 6-4, 6-4
4. Alex Clay (UA) def. Federica Denti (TCU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Millie Nichols (TCU) def. Taylor Lindsey (UA) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(8)
6. Emily Zabor (UA) def. Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) 7-5, 3-0, ret.
Order of Finish: 6,4,3*,5,2,1