Tide beats Samford, UABBy Terrin Waack | 01/20/2015 12:03am
The men's tennis team beat Samford and UAB in a double-header on Monday. CW | Pete Pajor
The University of Alabama men’s tennis team started its season with not just one, but two wins, from Monday’s 2015 season opener with Samford and UAB at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility.
Alabama opened with a match against the Samford Bulldogs, which the Crimson Tide won 6-1. Then it was able to sweep the UAB Blazers.
“I thought they did very well,” coach George Husack said. “I think there were some early nerves in the first match. In the afternoon, I think they were just tested with the length of the day, but they played very well. I am very happy for them.”
As of Dec. 15, 2014, the ITA Division I Operating Committee shortened the format of doubles matches. Monday’s season opener gave the Crimson Tide its first look at the new format. Husack said he thinks the shortened format will make a difference in how the game is played and end up helping the team stay focused all the time.
“I think it will put more pressure on the deuce point,” Husack said. “We have an unwritten rule to never complain about a point, saying, ‘Oh, it was a three-all point and we lost the point.’ We’re just locked in.”
Against both Samford and UAB, the Crimson Tide was able to obtain the doubles point. With winning both of his doubles matches with partner Sean Donohue, senior Stuart Kenyon said he finds the shortened format is very different and hard to adjust to.
“To be honest, I do enjoy it, though,” Kenyon said. “It makes you have to be ready to go right at the beginning and on top of things. It’s a couple points here and there that make a difference, and you really have to lock in and be ready to go.”
Although this is his first time playing college tennis, freshman Korey Lovett said he already likes the shortened format more.
Lovett sat out during the fall season, so Monday was his first time playing a full college tennis game. He won his match against Samford, but it was his match against UAB’s Christian Coetzee that had fans on the edge of their seat until Lovett pulled through in the tiebreaker to win 7-6(6), 7-6(4).
“I enjoyed it,” Lovett said. “It was a little intimidating, but I’ve played in a lot of big stages so it wasn’t too bad. But I think it was good for me as well to be in a tight battle so I know what it’s like for the rest of the season.”