March 21, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The eighth-ranked women's tennis team (13-1, 5-0 SEC) will take on a pair of Southeastern Conference Eastern Division opponents in No. 2 Florida (11-2, 4-1 SEC) and South Carolina (8-7, 1-4 SEC) this weekend. Friday's match in Gainesville, Fla., against the Gators will begin at 5 p.m. CT while Sunday's match in Columbia, S.C., versus the Gamecocks is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. CT.
The Crimson Tide is coming off a thrilling 4-3 victory over rival Auburn, where freshman Natalia Maynetto clinched the final point after falling behind 5-1 in her third set. Maynetto won six straight games to win 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, improving her season record at the No. 6 singles spot to 10-1. Three of the Tide's players are currently undefeated in singles against SEC opponents including senior Antonia Foehse, sophomore Emily Zabor and Maynetto.
Alabama has four players ranked nationally in junior Mary Anne Macfarlane (No. 25), senior Alexa Guarachi (No. 60), freshman Maya Jansen (No. 73) and Maynetto (No. 115). The duo of Macfarlane and Guarachi is also ranked sixth in the nation.
Florida enters the weekend having won its last four matches, dropping just one point along the way. Most recently, the Gators knocked off Tennessee, 4-0, moving Florida to 8-0 at home this season. The Gators have five ranked nationally-ranked singles players including senior Lauren Embree (No. 1), junior Sofie Oyen (No. 14), junior Alex Cercone (No. 55), freshman Danielle Collins (No. 89) and freshman Brianna Morgan (No. 96). Florida also has one doubles team currently ranked nationally with Embree and Oyen at No. 23.
South Carolina has lost its last three matches, including a 7-0 setback last time out to No. 12 Georgia. The Gamecocks have been solid in doubles this season, winning 11 of 15 doubles points heading into the weekend. South Carolina currently has two players ranked nationally in singles in senior Jaklin Alawi (No. 78) and junior Katerina Popova (No. 102).
Florida leads the overall series with Alabama, 36-0, while South Carolina holds a 12-8 advantage over the Tide. In last season's meetings, Alabama fell to the Gators, 7-0, but beat the Gamecocks, 7-0.
Live scoring will be available for both matches and can be found by clicking here.