Oct. 7, 2012
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -
Mary Anne Macfarlane will be making her third-straight appearance at the prestigious USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in November, however this time she earned her spot by winning the Riviera/ITA All-American singles back draw finals by virtue of a walkover against fourth-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar of Texas A&M.
"I'm just really excited and blessed to have this opportunity again," said Macfarlane. "I hope that I will be able to qualify in doubles as well at Regionals, so I can represent the Tide in both singles and doubles in New York. I'm very fortunate to have teammates and coaches that have helped me get to this point."
Macfarlane is the first participant to make the field of 32 that will meet at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
"After losing her first match of the tournament to the No. 1 freshman in the country (Krista Hardebeck of Stanford), Mary Anne brushed it off pretty quickly and came out ready to play and was patiently aggressive in the rest of her matches," said Alabama assistant coach Max Norris. "She is one of the fittest players in the country, and I think that pulled her through and helped her last through the entire tournament. I am extremely proud of her, and the most impressive thing about her is she is not afraid of trying new things while she is competing. She is very excited about going back to New York."
Over the course of the six-day event, Macfarlane and teammate Alexa Guarachi earned a combined nine wins in singles and doubles. Guarachi, playing in her first tournament back from injury, lost her opening round match but won three straight after that.
"Her first match back might not have gone the way she wanted, but she did really well to stay positive," said Norris. "She came back after that loss just like Mary Anne and really competed well. She's still nursing her foot, so I am very proud of the way she came out and played."
As a doubles team, Guarachi and Macfarlane advanced to the main draw quarterfinals, eventually falling in a tiebreaker to the fourth-ranked team in the nation in UCLA's Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton.
"Mary Anne and Alexa hadn't competed together in doubles for a long time, so to come in here and soundly beat teams from Rice and USC was pretty impressive," added Norris. "They lost a tough one to UCLA, but just ended up beating themselves in the end. They have a lot of confidence going ahead and are going to keep building on this. They are a dynamic team that packs a strong punch together."
The Tide will be back in action in two weeks when it hosts the USTA/ITA Southern Region Championships in Tuscaloosa, Oct. 19-22. Winners of the singles and doubles draws at this tournament will also earn a spot into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
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