2014 Season Review

June 27, 2014

2014 SEASON ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS
The Alabama women’s tennis team had its best season in program history, achieving many milestones in 2014. Under head coach Jenny Mainz, who recently capped off her 17th season at the Capstone, the Crimson Tide won the NCAA Doubles National Championship, advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals for the first time and won the Southeastern Conference Championship.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: JANSEN AND ROUTLIFFE WIN NCAA DOUBLES TITLE IN STRAIGHT SETS
In what will go down as one of the most dominant performances in NCAA doubles finals history, Alabama’s Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe captured the program’s first national title dropping a combined 13 points all match en route to the 6-1, 6-0 victory over Georgia’s Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase. With the win, the Crimson Tide duo finishes the season at 22-4, taking their final 10 matches.

CRIMSON TIDE WINS FIRST SEC CHAMPIONSHIP IN PROGRAM HISTORY
With a 4-3 come-from-behind victory at No. 8 Georgia on April 11, Alabama clinched at least a share of the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championship and won the title outright with a 4-0 sweep of Tennessee on the final day of the regular season. The Crimson Tide lost only one match throughout league play this year, falling 4-2 at No. 10 Vanderbilt. Throughout the conference slate, Alabama posted seven 4-0 sweeps, including four to start the SEC season. The Tide went a perfect 12-0 in home matches, six of which came against league opponents. Alabama is only the sixth program in the SEC to win a conference championship in women’s tennis joining Florida (27), Georgia (9), Kentucky (1), LSU (3) and Texas A&M (1).

JANSEN AND ROUTLIFFE TABBED NO. 4 SEED IN NCAA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP; EARN ALL-AMERICA HONORS
Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe earned the No. 4 seed, automatically giving the duo All-America honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. This is the second-straight season Alabama has had an All-American duo as Mary Anne Daines and Alexa Guarachi earned the honor a year ago. Jansen and Routliffe are the third team in program history to achieve the feat.

ZABOR BECOMES FIRST REPEAT WINNER OF NCAA ELITE 89 AWARD IN WOMEN’S TENNIS
Emily Zabor was awarded the Elite 89 award for the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship. This is the second consecutive year Zabor has won the award and third in a row for the Crimson Tide as Mary Anne Daines collected the honors in 2012. Zabor graduated in three years with a 4.000 GPA with a degree in commerce & business administration, majoring in marketing.

DAINES ROPES IN SEVERAL POSTSEASON AWARDS
Mary Anne Daines became the fourth-consecutive Crimson Tide player to win Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. Two weeks later, she added another honor being named the ITA Senior Player of the Year for the southern region and then was named a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American. Throughout her career, Daines changed the face of the program serving as the consummate student-athlete both on and off the court. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 3.5 years with a bachelor of science in education, majoring in human performance exercise science, all while holding a 4.000 cumulative undergraduate GPA. She was the 2012 Elite 89 Award winner as well as a three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection. Daines played at the No. 1 singles position throughout her entire career at Alabama and has been ranked nationally in singles and doubles all four seasons.

MAINZ TABBED SEC COACH OF THE YEAR FOR THE THIRD TIME IN FOUR YEARS
Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz was voted Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year for the 2014 season. This marks the third SEC Coach of the Year nod for Mainz, who also won the award in 2011 and 2012. She led her squad to new heights in 2014, winning the SEC Championship for the first time while also reaching a program-best national ranking of No. 2.

ROUTLIFFE NAMED SEC CO-FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, FIRST TEAM ALL-SEC AND SEC ALL-FRESHMAN
Erin Routliffe was well-rewarded following her first season in the Southeastern Conference as she was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year, as well as First Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman. Routliffe made an immediate impact in the Tide’s lineup, leading Alabama in overall singles wins with 29, including a team-high nine wins against SEC opponents. She went 13-4 from the No. 3 spot in singles and 16-4 at No. 1 doubles in her first season at The Capstone. A two-time SEC Freshman of the Week, Routliffe was ranked consistently throughout the season in singles and doubles and led the Tide at the top of the lineup in doubles, earning a career-high ranking of No. 1 with Maya Jansen. Together, they defeated nine nationally-ranked teams in doubles and clinched Alabama’s 4-3 win over Florida.

FOUR CRIMSON TIDE PLAYERS NAMED TO ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
In addition to Erin Routliffe making First Team All-SEC, Maya Jansen and Luicelena Perez were also honored on the Second Team, while Danielle Spielmann was named to the All-Freshman Team.

ZABOR WINS ITA/ARTHUR ASHE, JR. SPORTSMANSHIP & LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR SOUTHERN REGION
Emily Zabor was awarded the 2014 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award for the southern region. Zabor, a 2014 SEC All-Tournament Team selection, finished second on the team with 23 singles victories throughout the season, including 15 in dual-match play. She was nationally ranked in both singles and doubles in 2014 and had the biggest win of her career thus far, clinching the Tide’s 4-3 victory against then-No. 10 Virginia with a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(2) win. Zabor also posted a come-from-behind win at Georgia in three sets to help the Tide win the SEC Championship and was voted Team MVP by her teammates for the 2013-14 season.

WOMEN’S TENNIS HONORED AS TEAM WITH THE HIGHEST GPA AT STUDENT-ATHLETE AWARDS BANQUET
The Alabama women’s tennis team was recognized for having the highest team GPA at the Student-Athlete Awards Banquet on April 21, carrying a combined 3.74 average.

ALABAMA BEATS FLORIDA FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PROGRAM HISTORY
In what would be one of the closest matches all season, the eighth-ranked Alabama women’s tennis team beat No. 5 Florida, 4-3, on March 23, in Tuscaloosa. The win was the first in program history for the Crimson Tide over the Gators as Florida came in with a 37-match winning streak over Alabama.

CRIMSON TIDE WINS 2014 BLUE GRAY NATIONAL TENNIS CLASSIC TITLE
With wins over No. 42 Illinois, No. 21 Texas Tech and No. 24 Rice in consecutive days, Alabama took home the 2014 Blue Gray National Tennis Classic title on Feb. 23. Mary Anne Daines clinched the 4-3 victory over the Owls to seal the deal for the Crimson Tide as well as earn herself tournament MVP honors.