Women’s tennis team earns national title shot

The Alabama women’s tennis team defeated Memphis and Clemson at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend in Tuscaloosa to clinch a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships this weekend.

The No. 10 Crimson Tide defeated Memphis 4-0 Saturday, then went on to beat 20th ranked Clemson Tigers 4-2 on Sunday for a spot in the National Indoor Championships.

The national tournament will be held in Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 8-12.

“We all wanted to make that trip,” Mainz said. “We are very excited and it is going to be a great opportunity for the Crimson Tide.”

In the doubles portion of the match against Clemson, the Tide won two out of the three matches, including two come-from-behind wins.

Senior Alexa Guarachi and junior Mary Anne Macfarlane are the Tide’s top doubles team, currently ranked No. 2 in the country. Gurachi and Macfarlane were down three games to zero against Clemson’s top doubles team. The two rallied to win eight of the next 10 games and win the match.

Senior Antonia Foeshe and freshman Maya Jansen are Alabama’s second doubles team. Foeshe and Jansen trailed 6-3 and rallied all the way back to tie the match at 6-6. The two rallied again to force a tie-breaking final set.

Foeshe and Jansen won an exciting tie-breaking set 7-5 and won the match 8-7.

“They were down and out,” Mainz said. “Momentum, it can change in a second. I kept telling them that and to fight through it and step up, all it takes is one point where you shake it up a little.”

After being awarded one point for winning the majority of the doubles matches, the Tide only needed to win three of the six singles matches to win the overall match and to secure a spot in Charlottesville. Alabama won three singles matches, including the clinching match by freshman Natalia Maynetto.

“I was trying to focus on my court,” Maynetto said. “It was really hard not to look at the other scores. I knew my match was going to make a difference. I had no idea I would be the clincher.”

Maynetto said this weekend’s match has helped the team headed into nationals.

“This is has prepared us for Virginia,” Maynetto said. “Having really tough matches is great and we are really excited now for nationals.”

Mainz said this weekend the Tide showed great resiliency and never gave up.

“Our backs are against the wall and they won’t stop fighting,” Mainz said. “That’s what happens at Alabama, that’s what all of our programs do and it’s a mentality that’s contagious at The University of Alabama.”