March 26, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -
Following wins over South Carolina and Florida, the women's tennis team swept the Southeastern Conference weekly awards as Luicelena Perez
was named player of the week, while Erin Routliffe
earned freshman of the week honors.
Perez, in her first season with the Crimson Tide, was instrumental in helping Alabama get its first win in program history over Florida battling her way to a 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(3) victory over 44th-ranked Kourtney Keegan to tie the match at 3-3 and force the doubles matches versus the Gators.
"Luicelena is very deserving of this prestigious recognition," said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. "She displayed tremendous courage and heart to pull through 7-6 in the third set to keep Alabama alive in the match and force the sudden death doubles play. I was proud of the poise she showed under pressure. Luice has shown so much improvement through the course of this season. It's been fun to watch."
She also came through in the clutch against South Carolina, winning 7-5, 7-5 to give the Tide its third point in the victory. In addition to her stellar singles play, Perez helped Alabama win its 14th and 15th doubles points of the season over the weekend as she and partner Emily Zabor won both their matches.
Routliffe, and partner Maya Jansen, provided the clinching win in doubles, after trailing 9-7, to give Alabama its 4-3 victory over the Gators. Routliffe also topped the higher-ranked Sofie Oyen of Florida to give Alabama its second point of the match following a long battle to end the second set.
"Erin had to gut that win against Oyen," added Mainz. "She is difficult to put away because she is a tenacious competitor and makes you see extra balls every point. Erin found another gear and did a commendable job of finishing. Erin's stubborn mentality was really revealed."
Perez is in the midst of a six-match winning streak in singles, while Routliffe is currently undefeated in SEC play with a 5-0 record in singles as well as a 5-0 record in doubles.
"This was a total team effort," Mainz explained. "All eight players have been contributing week in and week out. Sunday was a compilation of everyone pushing forward each week."
Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaWTN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.