Team rallies past Auburn to continue winning streak
The Alabama women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to nine matches with a comeback victory over in-state rival Auburn Friday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
The Crimson Tide beat the Tigers in another match that went down to the wire. Alabama was 2 points away from losing the match but fought back to win 4-3.
“Our team will not quit,” head coach Jenny Mainz said. “We have talked repeatedly about our backs being against the wall, being in challenging situations, and we continue to not quit and give up.”
The Tide stumbled in the doubles portion of the matches, failing to win one of the three matches and trailed Auburn 1-0 headed into the singles portion of the match.
Alabama needed to win four of the six singles, matches to win the overall team match and keep its winning streak alive.
The Tide received early contributions in the singles matches as seniors Alexa Guarachi, Antonia Foehse and sophomore Emily Zabor all won in straight sets. Guarachi won her match 6-3 and 6-1, Foehse won 7-6, 6-4 and Zabor won 6-1, 6-3.
“There were a lot of commendable performances we had,” Mainz said. “Foehse found a way to win. Alexa Guarachi had a quick boost in the arm, just the way we play is contagious.”
With Guarachi, Foehse and Zabor winning, Alabama was tied with Auburn 3-3 with only one match still in progress. The overall team match came down to freshman Natalia Maynetto.
Maynetto won her first set 6-3. She went on to lose her second set 6-4. She entered the third and final set with stakes being higher than ever. Maynetto won the first game of the final set leading her opponent from Auburn 1-0.
After winning the opening game of the third set, Maynetto was trailing 5-1 and was two points away from being defeated.
Maynetto rallied to win six straight games over her opponent, winning 7-5 and helping Alabama clinch the match.
“I was fighting so hard in the beginning and then things did go my way in the second set,” Maynetto said. “In the third set I got a little bit of confidence and fought like crazy. I knew it all came down to me and I was trying not to think about it.”
Mainz said what Maynetto did was beyond remarkable, especially considering she is only a freshman.
“For her to be down 5-1 and fight her way back into that match is more than clutch,” Mainz said. “For a freshman to do that with the poise and maturity is commendable.”
Mainz said a win like this is huge for the Tide and it showed great resilience and battled until the very end.
“It was a complete team effort,” Mainz said. “I’m really proud of this team because it would have been easy to quit and we didn’t.”
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