Tide takes down SMU, improves to 3-1

Tide takes down SMU, improves to 3-1

UA Athletics

02_18_12 WTE vs Rice Mary Anne Macfarlane Photo by Amelia J Brackin

Aldo Amato

The Crimson Tide women’s tennis team, previously holding a 2-1 record, took on the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs Sunday afternoon in both doubles and singles play.

In front of a packed crowd at the Roberta Allison-Baumgartner indoor tennis facility, the women’s tennis team took on their second opponent after dominating Rice University a day earlier. The team, coming off a three-week break, looked fresh early in doubles play.

Senior Taylor Lindsey and freshman Yasmine Ebada took control for the Tide early on, sweeping SMU freshman Perri Anderson and sophomore Kris Roberts (8-0). The 39th-ranked duo Junior Alexa Guarachi and senior Courtney McLane fought off Mustang senior Heather Steinbauer and junior Edyta Cieplucha 8-4. To cap doubles off, Tide sophomore Mary Anne Macfarlane and junior Antonia Foehse easily defeated SMU senior Ashley Turpin and freshman Elena Fayner 8-1.

“I thought we came out strong,” head coach Jenny Mainz said. “There are things that we will focus on going into Blue Gray next week, but I think the team did an excellent job this weekend against great competition.”

In singles play, it was Ebada who crushed her competition. Ebada, a freshman from Cairo, Egypt, did not surrender a single game and took both matches (6-0, 6-0). She remains undefeated in both singles and doubles play on the season.

Another instant-impact freshman blanked her opponent following Ebada’s performance. Emily Zabor took her match (6-0, 6-0) over SMU’s Anderson.

“I thought our freshman duo did a great job,” Mainz said. “They’ve been waiting to get into the lineup, working hard, and they give a real boost to the team to see that kind of an impact from such young players.”

But the Tide faced a reinvigorated Mustangs team that refused to go down without a fight. Junior Alex Guarachi cruised to an early 6-1 win in the first set against SMU’s Steinbauer. But she had to fight back before sealing a 6-2 win in the second set to take the match.

“I really tried to stay focused and positive,” the 40th-ranked Guarachi said. “I’m glad I remained efficient and helped the team finish.”

Sophomore Alex Clay held off Mustangs sophomore Kris Roberts (6-1, 6-3). Senior Courtney McLane battled through a back and forth second set to take the match (6-1, 7-5) over SMU freshman Elena Fayner.

But the Tide would save the best for last, and in a comeback, 15th-ranked Mary Anne Macfarlane extended the match on court one to a tie-breaking third set after falling 2-6 in the first set to SMU’s Edyta Cieplucha.

“My coach told me to stay calm and keep going after her,” Macfarlane said. “I just really had to stay focused and play the best I could.” In the third set, Macfarlane, down 40, rallied back and capped off the sweep for the Tide over the Mustangs.

“[Macfarlane’s] opponent kept her neutralized throughout the match,” Mainz said. “She really made her earn it. But she did a great job of not getting frustrated; she stayed patient and really settled in focusing on what she needed to accomplish.”

Mainz said that the team will focus on individual play going into this weekend’s Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery.