The University of Alabama women’s tennis team will host the 2012 USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championship Oct. 19-22.
Winners of the singles and doubles earn automatic berths to the Indoor National Championships in New York at the U.S. Open. Even though the Crimson Tide is at home, head coach Jenny Mainz said the team will not get too comfortable.
“Early September everyone is knocking the rust off, but now everyone is starting to fine tune, and you’re starting to see some really good tennis,” Mainz said. “I want to see us continue to get better. I feel like we made a lot of headway this fall.”
Mainz also said she is encouraged by her team’s improvement from week to week and match to match. Alabama has been led by junior Mary Anne Macfarlane.
Macfarlane earned automatic entry into the National Indoor Championships by defeating fourth-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar of Texas A&M at the Riviera/ITA All-American singles back draw finals.
This will be the junior’s third-straight appearance at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, which take place in November. Macfarlane is the first participant to make the field of 32 that will meet at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Her motivation for this coming tournament is to keep her teammates focused and work on staying aggressive.
“I just want us to play our best and implement what we do well,” Macfarlane said.
Macfarlane will be accompanied again by senior teammate Alexa Guarachi in doubles. Based on their preseason rankings, they were selected to compete together in early October at the All-American Championships in California, which was Guarachi’s first tournament since a foot injury she sustained this summer.
Guarachi has bounced back and is one of the main leaders for the Tide. Guarachi’s experience helps the team, as she is no stranger to the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships. Guarachi has played in this tournament since her freshman year, winning the doubles crown as a sophomore with former teammate Courtney McLane in 2010.
Guarachi and Macfarlane teamed up in 2011 to win the doubles crown and look to make a strong title defense over the weekend.
“I just want to go out there and play to my best ability and play how I have been playing with Alabama,” Guarachi said.
The four-day event will begin Friday, Oct. 19 and conclude Monday, Oct. 22.