Alabama duo collects five wins at homeBy Elliott Propes | 11/01/2015 2:08pm
Alabama’s newest two members on the women’s tennis team both represented Alabama in the Roberta Alison Fall Classic. The tournament is hosted by the Crimson Tide every year. This year, 13 other programs came to Tuscaloosa. Junior transfer Joanna Nena-Savva and freshman Andie Daniel played well as the rest of the lineup rested.
“I think they competed really well all weekend. Today, (Saturday) I think they finished strong in singles,” coach Jenny Mainz said. “The test I always challenge them with is come out and be a better team than the day before, come out and finish strong, be a strong second-day team, and I think they definitely did that.”
With a last minute line-up change, Daniel took the courts instead of senior Natalia Maynetto. She played in the singles “Weyli Chang” draw, and won her first two matches in straight sets on Friday to reach the final against Ole Miss’s Natalie Suk. The match went three sets after they split the first two. Daniel lost her first set of the tournament 6-7 then bounced back to win the second 6-2. The third set went to a winner take all tiebreaker after the games went 6-6. Daniel went down 2-4 early in the tiebreak, but outlasted Suk 7-5.
“Andie a vicious competitor, and I think in many times in her career she is going to outwork and outcompete and out-will people even when she is not playing her best tennis,” Mainz said. “I think today she played a good match and her game will continue to get better, but she was unwilling to yield. She just competed really, really well.”
Nena-Savva had a good Saturday as well. After losing her opening singles match on Friday, she won out to win the losers bracket of the “Susan Carver” draw. She beat Troy’s, Efriliya Herlina 6-1, 6-1 and then UAB’s Catherine Ragon 6-3, 6-1 to claim that side of the bracket.
“The great thing about her is that you know what you are going to get,” She goes out, she competes hard, she leaves it all out on the court.
The pair playing together could not get it done though, as they lost both doubles matches they played in. On Friday, they lost 8-5 to Georgia Tech and on Saturday they lost 6-4 to Northwestern.
“They kind of got thrown together at the last minute, and that is not an excuse, but you have to learn how to work with somebody,” Mainz said. I’m not sure really given the situation that they really had the time to work through some things, but nonetheless I think it’s a great learning tool.”
The fall season is now over, except for Daniel and junior Erin Routliffe. The two of qualified as a doubles team for the USTA/ITA National Indoor championships in Flushing Meadows, New York. The tournament begins November 12.