March 20, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The eighth-ranked women's tennis team (13-2, 5-0 SEC) will look to extend its nine-match winning streak when it returns home this weekend to take on Southeastern Conference foes South Carolina (10-6, 1-4 SEC) and No. 5 Florida (12-3, 4-1 SEC). The match against the Gamecocks will take place on Friday at 5 p.m. CT, while the match against the Gators is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Sunday's match was selected as one of only 22 all season long for USTA College MatchDay. As part of the College MatchDay experience, there will be an experimental format in place where all six singles matches, consisting of best of three tiebreak sets, will be played first. Once one team reaches four points and clinches the match, the remaining matches will not be completed. In the case of a 3-3 tie after singles, three doubles matches, played using a 10-point super tiebreaker, will be used to determine the team victory.
Fans will also have the opportunity to pick up some great prizes and a free meal as it is Bama Beach Day at the courts. A Tide tailgate will be set up at the entrance of the courts grilling out food for fans, while supplies last. The first 100 fans in attendance will receive free Alabama tennis sunglasses, while everyone will have the opportunity to sign up to win other items such as Alabama beach towels, beach chairs and more.
Behind a pair of come-from-behind three-setters, Alabama beat No. 21 Auburn, 4-2, last week at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Tide won its 13th doubles point of the season and got singles wins from Erin Routliffe, Maya Jansen and Mary Anne Daines, who clinched at No. 1 over 33rd-ranked Pleun Burgmans. Daines and partner Danielle Spielmann have now won nine-straight doubles matches together and are 10-1 on the season overall.
South Carolina has lost its last four-straight matches with the most recent coming in 4-2 fashion against Tennessee. Both Meghan Blevins and Katerina Popova have a team-leading 10 victories in singles, while Brigit Folland and Popova lead the way in doubles with a 7-3 record in dual-match play. The Gamecocks have two women ranked in singles including No. 95 Folland and No. 112 Blevins as well as one doubles team in Elixane Lechemia and Dominika Kanakova, who come in at No. 61.
Florida is coming off its first SEC loss of the season after falling 4-2 at No. 12 Georgia on Sunday. The Gators have won the doubles point 10 times this season and are led by Olivia Janowicz and Kourtney Keegan with a 6-1 dual-match record at No. 2. In singles, both Alexandra Cercone and Sofie Oyen have a team-leading 10 victories. Florida has six players ranked in singles, including three in the top 25 in No. 8 Janowicz, No. 22 Cercone and No. 23 Brianna Morgan. Oyen comes in at No. 38, Keegan No. 44 and Belinda Woolcock No. 78. The Gators also have four ranked doubles combinations including No. 24 Woolcock and Oyen, No. 32 Oyen and Keegan, No. 35 Janowicz and Keegan and No. 68 Keegan and Woolcock.
South Carolina currently leads the series 12-9, however Alabama has won the last two-straight against the Gamecocks, including a 4-1 victory last season. Florida comes in with a 37-0 record versus the Tide.
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