Oct. 2, 2009
The women's tennis team is sending four players to compete in the 2009 ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Tennis Championships in Los Angeles. Play begins on Saturday, Oct. 3 and continues through Sunday, Oct. 11.
"We have hammered away since August to go out to California and create a presence at the All-Americans," said head coach Jenny Mainz. "We will have plenty of considerable opportunities to capitalize on this highly-regarded stage."
The tournament kicks off Oct. 3 with the pre-qualifying singles and doubles draws, which are being held on the campus of UCLA. Competing for the Crimson Tide in pre-qualifying singles is senior Paulina Bigos and freshman Alexa Guarachi. Guarachi is the No. 3 seed in the draw, which consists of 64 players. Bigos faces Alexandra Malyarchikova of SMU in the first round, while Guarachi takes on Clemson's Laurianne Henry. A player must win three rounds to advance to the qualifying singles draw.
Alabama also has two duos in the pre-qualifying doubles draw, with Bigos and sophomore Taylor Lindsey forming one team and Guarachi and sophomore Courtney McLane forming the other. Bigos and Lindsey were a very successful pair a season ago for the Tide, and much is expected from Guarachi and McLane as well. The freshman/sophomore tandem received a national pre-season ranking of No. 43. Bigos and Lindsey are matched up against Stephanie Hoffpauir and Maya Johansson of UCLA in the opening round. Guarachi and McLane will face Chelcie Abajian and Megan Fudge of Illinois. As with the pre-qualifying singles draw, three rounds must be won in order to advance to qualifying.
McLane will also be competing in singles action, as she is already a part of the qualifying draw. The sophomore comes into the season with a national ranking of No. 61. The qualifying singles and doubles draws are slated to take place Oct. 6 and 7 at the Riviera Tennis Club. Once again, three rounds must be won in order to move on to the main draw. Main draw singles and doubles matches are slated to begin on Oct. 8 and wrap up Oct. 11 at the Riviera Tennis Club.
"This is an excellent opportunity for Courtney, Alexa, Paulina and Taylor," added Mainz. "The ITA All-American Championships is comprised of a select group. It's the nation's finest and a preview of the NCAA Championships in May. This is the best representation of Alabama players we've had at this notable event."
The Tide's next tournament will be a little closer to home, as the team will travel to Auburn to take part in the Wilson/ITA Southern Regional Championships. The four-day event gets under way on Friday, Oct. 23 and concludes on Monday, Oct. 26.