Women's tennis to host Roberta Alison Classic

Around 14 women’s tennis teams from all over the country are heading to Tuscaloosa this weekend for the annual Roberta Alison Fall Classic. The tournament honors the former Alabama great. Alison was so talented that she was asked to play on the men’s team at Alabama. Her decision to do so paved the way for women’s athletics in the Southeastern Conference.

“It’s an honor to represent her and kind of pay tribute with the way we compete, with our competitive spirit to show respect for what she did,” Mainz said. “She was a pioneer. She was a courageous woman to play on the men’s team in the early 60’s.”

This tournament will be Alabama’s first tournament at home all fall. The team has sent several players to a variety of tournaments all over the nation this fall.

“Actually the most exciting part is that I’m going to sleep in my own bed,” junior Joanna Nena-Savva said. “But other than that I’m excited for the atmosphere, having our home crowd here is one of the best feelings any athlete can have.”

For most players, the fall season is over. Mainz said that only Nena-Savva and senior Natalia Maynetto will play this weekend. She said that with it being fall break, with no school and with it just being them two that they can concentrate more on just their game.

“We are actually only playing two players in the tournament, but nonetheless it’s a good way for them to end the fall season,” Mainz said. “I just want us to compete on our terms, to compete on a level were we are gaining momentum going into the spring.”

Both will play singles matches and will also play as a doubles team. They played together at Furman Fall Classic and the Baylor invitational together. They went 3-1 as a pair over both tournaments.

“They really communicate effectively, I like they way they work together on the court. That’ll be fun to watch them play,” Mainz said.

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