May 10, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The No. 2 seed Alabama women's tennis team is headed to the NCAA Championship round of 16 for the second-consecutive season, advancing with a 4-2 victory over Princeton on Saturday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 24-4 overall, while the loss puts the Tigers at 19-6 overall.
Alabama took a 2-0 lead, however Princeton would even the match at 2-2 and would challenge in the remaining match before the Tide closed it out.
"We knew this was going to be a battle," said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. "Princeton is a good team. They are a tenacious group, and we knew we'd have our hands full. We've had a lot of matches like this throughout the season and came in prepared for this."
Alabama played another dominant doubles point with wins on courts one and two. The Tide's fourth-ranked duo of Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe cruised to an 8-1 victory over Princeton's 67th-ranked team of Lindsay Graff and Alana Wolff shortly before Mary Anne Daines and Danielle Spielmann clinched the first point of the afternoon with an 8-2 win against the Tigers' Amanda Muliawan and Emily Hahn.
Luicelena Perez picked up the first win in singles, extending her streak to 13-straight victories, with a 6-3, 6-2 decision on court six. From there, Princeton then tied the match at 2-2, claiming wins on courts one and two. Jansen's 6-3, 6-4 victory on court four over Sivan Krems put Alabama back in front, moving the focus to the far end of the courts where Emily Zabor and Routliffe were both heading into third sets.
In the end, it would be Zabor again, who picked up a pivotal break to get the match back on serve at 4-4 and went on to take the last two games to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 on court five over Dorothy Tang.
"This is why I play college tennis," said Zabor. "We deal really well with pressure. I felt really confident in the first set, but she (Dorothy Tang) played really well and stepped it up. She made me win the match."
Alabama will now face Notre Dame (17-9) on Thursday, May 15, at 8 a.m. CT at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the University of Georgia campus.
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