Women's tennis prepares to face Syracuse, PrincetonBy Caroline Gazzara | 01/20/2015 10:33pm
The women’s tennis team is excited to kick off the spring season this weekend. UA will host Syracuse, Princeton and Virginia Tech. UA Athletics
Now, the women’s tennis team kicks off its official spring season this weekend hosting Syracuse, Princeton and Virginia Tech.
“Well, they’re all good teams,” coach Jenny Mainz said. “We play Syracuse first so that’s all I’m worried about. They’re a very good indoor team. Big serves, big hitters, kind of hard, flat. [They] use the court well. We’ve got to be ready to neutralize.”
Last season, Crimson Tide duo Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe won the NCAA doubles team championship, although the team fell short in the singles championship. This season, the team is coming together right on schedule, Mainz said.
This past weekend Alabama hosted Florida State, Georgia Tech and Northwestern in a friendly preseason tournament.
Coming off of this past weekend, Mainz said the team already had a game plan for preparing during practice. Mainz said the team will be working on discipline from the back line, being patiently aggressive and improving its first serve percentage.
“We’ve got to have a high first serve percentage,” she said. “If I’m missing first serves all the time and you’re attacking and pressuring me right away, I’ve lost control of the point. We’ve got to have a high first serve percentage and we’ve got to continue to put a lot of pressure on the servers, especially when they miss first serves.”
The team is also working on depth and speed throughout each match. Indoor tennis is fast, and Mainz said the team has to be prepared for that.
Sophomore Danielle Spielmann said the best part of playing this weekend is playing at home. She said there’s nothing like having the crowd behind her and her teammates cheering them on.
“Playing at home with our crowd, I know not for everybody it is like that, but for us with our crowd it’s an unbelievable moment every time,” she said. “And sharing it with them, it’s just something. I can’t really explain. You feel it down here [the courts]. Everybody is cheering you, you’re the last one on and you know you have the crowd behind you that has your back no matter if you win or lose. Hosting is a really big part of us. It’s for sure a huge advantage and if we’re smart, which we are, can take advantage of that and carry that on, it’s going to help us for sure.”