Men's tennis splits last at-home conference matchesBy Terrin Waack | 04/06/2015 7:58am
The Alabama men's tennis team is now 15-15 overall and 3-8 in the SEC after splitting a pair of matches this weekend. CW | Layton Dudley
The Alabama men’s tennis team split its last at-home matches this weekend. It defeated South Carolina on Friday, 4-1. Then, on Sunday, the score was reversed when the Crimson Tide lost to Georgia, 1-4.
Alabama is now 15-15 overall and 3-8 in the SEC.
Friday was a big win for the Crimson Tide, having lost to South Carolina the past four years. Its last win was during the 2011 season.
“It was a pretty indescribable moment,” senior Stuart Kenyon said. “We’ve played them four times and it was really just a big goal of mine to beat them.”
Not only was Kenyon given the opportunity with his team to achieve that goal, he played a large part in the outcome as well. He, along with doubles partner Sean Donohue, clinched the doubles point against South Carolina’s Thomas Mayronne and Sam Swank. Kenyon also clinched the overall match after his comeback in singles against Thiago Pinheiro.
“It was really remarkable and amazing,” Kenyon said. “Really just the best feeling in the world.”
On Sunday, the team started with momentum after claiming the doubles point. However, during the singles matches, the momentum switched over to the Bulldogs.
“It seemed like some guys were off, and some guys obviously played better than others,” sophomore Nikko Madregallejo said. “They made less errors [Sunday] than we did on most of the courts, and that was the difference.”
Coach George Husack said the team was outplayed by Georgia. With the last three matches going into all three sets, he said he noticed Georgia getting annoyed and tired.
“At 3:45 p.m., Georgia didn’t expect to lose the doubles point, and [it] didn’t expect to have a long battle in singles,” he said. “I think at that point – which, I told the team this – when you see blood, you have to go after it.”
Husack said the team needs to be like sharks during those times.
Although its season isn’t over, Alabama’s at-home matches have come to an end. Sunday was senior night as the two seniors, Kenyon and Andrew Goodwin, took the court for their last matches.
“I couldn’t really ask for anything more,” Kenyon said. “I’m very proud of the whole team, especially [Goodwin] with doubles. I’m also just proud of myself.”
Kenyon said it’s a weird feeling knowing this was his last at-home match, yet at the same time, he knows the season isn’t over and he still has more tennis to play.
“It’s not done; we want the season to go into May,” Husack said. “The guys might be tired and school might be winding down, but this is when we have to kick it into high gear.”