Women's tennis ends regular season with winBy Terrin Waack | 04/12/2015 10:06pm
The women's tennis team beat Arkansas 5-2 this weekend. CW | Layton Dudley
Hosting its last two matches at home, Alabama defeated Arkansas 5-2 on Friday. Then for its last meet of the regular season, it topped Missouri on Sunday, 6-1.
“We made a decision that we really wanted and needed to finish the season at home strong,” coach Jenny Mainz said. “Get some confidence, get some momentum heading into the SEC tournament.”
Alabama will head to the SEC Championships on Tuesday with a 16-6 record overall and 8-5 in the SEC.
“We always talk about it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish,” senior Emily Zabor said. “I think this weekend and last weekend we played very convincing tennis. I’m really proud of the team.”
Zabor, along with the only other senior Luicelena Perez, played her last regular season match at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
“You know what I love, the two seniors both had great days,” Mainz said. “They were fired up and ready to go.”
Zabor and Perez won both of their singles and doubles matches on Friday. Then on Sunday, Perez clinched the doubles point before Zabor could finish her doubles match. Both won their singles matches soon after.
“I just thought to myself, I just have to enjoy these last two regular season matches as home,” Perez said. “That was my mentality – just go have fun and don’t put too much pressure on myself.”
Not only did the weekend honor its seniors, but it was also family weekend. Many of the players’ parents came into town from all over, including some from outside the United States.
“It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to bring my personal family with my tennis family and to have them meet and enjoy one another, this atmosphere and experience,” Zabor said. “At the end of the day, Alabama just has provided so much for me.”
With the two wins, ending the the regular season with the combination of the seniors’ last matches and having family members there, it was an emotional weekend for all, Mainz said.
“It’s a really fun weekend to share that fellowship and let the parents be a part of what we do every day,” Mainz said. “It was a special weekend.”
Perez said having all the fans and family members there only helped her game, Mainz said. Perez even had her mom from Venezuela in the crowd.
Now that the end is in sight, Perez said she wants to go back to the beginning – not to do anything differently, but just to enjoy it all over again. She, Zabor and Mainz said they are excited for what the post season has in store for them.
“Our best tennis is still in front of us,” Mainz said.