March 29, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 13th ranked women's tennis team (12-2, 6-0 SEC) will host South Carolina (10-4, 2-4 SEC) and No. 2 Florida (13-1, 6-0 SEC) in the Crimson Tide's final home weekend of the regular season. First serve on Friday against the Gamecocks is set for 3 p.m. CT, while Sunday's match against the Gators will begin at 1 p.m. CT. Sunday will also serve as Senior Day, recognizing Taylor Lindsey and Courtney McLane.
"We are looking forward to a great home weekend this weekend, especially with it being our last at home," said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. "We hope to get a good crowd out for both matches."
Last time out, Alabama picked up a pair of Southeastern Conference wins, defeating 23rd-ranked Vanderbilt, 5-2 and Kentucky, 7-0. Alabama has yet to drop a doubles point all season, winning all 12 it has competed for. McLane clinched both of the Tide's wins on the weekend, and did so against the Commodores in comeback fashion after dropping the first set to 81st-ranked Marie Casares.
In the latest rankings, Alabama has two nationally ranked singles players in No. 23 Mary Anne Macfarlane and No. 56 Alexa Guarachi and three ranked doubles combinations in No. 19 Guarachi and McLane, No. 31 Guarachi and Macfarlane and No. 47 Antonia Foehse and Macfarlane.
The Gamecocks split a pair of road matches last weekend, falling 5-2 to No. 19 Mississippi in Oxford before getting a 4-0 victory over Mississippi State in Starkville. South Carolina has three players in the latest national rankings with Anya Morgina coming in at No. 35, Jaklin Alawi at No. 68 and Dijana Stojic at No. 71. The Gamecocks also have two nationally ranked doubles combinations with Morgina pairing with Alawi at No. 65, and Alawi pairing with Stojic at No. 68.
Alabama is 7-12 all-time against South Carolina, with the last meeting going to the Gamecocks in a 5-2 decision in Columbia.
"South Carolina always gives us a tough match," added Mainz. "They compete well and compete hard, and I think they are solid throughout their lineup. We need to be sure we show up ready and not get ahead of ourselves."
Florida was also on the road last weekend, sweeping Mississippi State 7-0 in Starkville before traveling to Oxford to defeat Mississippi, 6-1. Six nationally ranked singles players call Florida home, including No. 1 Allie Will, No. 11 Lauren Embree, No. 19 Joanna Mather, No. 42 Sofie Oyen, No. 64 Alex Cercone and No. 123 Caroline Hitimana. The Gators also have three nationally ranked doubles combinations in No. 1 Oyen and Will, No. 13 Embree and Mather, No. 57 Cercone and Olivia Janowicz.
Florida has won all 35 previous meetings against the Tide, including a 6-1 victory last season in Gainesville.
"Florida is a very good team," said Mainz. "Their entire singles lineup is ranked nationally, and they boast the No. 1 singles player as well as the No. 1 doubles team. This is a great opportunity for us, and we are going to do what we've done all season in staying the course and getting out there from the start with doubles. We're excited and really looking forward to this weekend."
Live scoring will be available for both matches and can be found by clicking here.