Women's tennis drops third straight SEC match

It’s like night and day.

That’s how University of Alabama’s women’s tennis coach Jenny Mainz described the difference between conference play and nonconference play.

Alabama lost 4-2 to No. 7 Ole Miss on Thursday night making it 0-3 in SEC play. Despite its slow start in conference play, Mainz knows her squad is capable of beating any team.

“We have to have the ability to bounce back quickly, and forget about this loss,” Mainz said. “I told the girls we’re good enough to win matches like these, so remember this feeling right now and know we don’t want to feel like this again.”

This match was supposed to be held outdoors, but since there’s a cold front coming into the Tuscaloosa area, the match was moved indoors. Saturday’s doubleheader match will probably also be moved indoors as heavy rain is expected throughout the day.

One thing was for certain, whether the match was outdoors or indoors Alabama was ready to play.

In doubles, the Crimson Tide got off to a fast start, something Mainz preaches to her team.

“I told them, the first 30 minutes we have to impose our will, we have to impose our intensity,” Mainz said. “I thought we played one of the better double points we’ve played all season, but we knew it was going to be a fight until the end.”

The sophomore duo of Ann Selim and Alba Cortina-Pou were the first pair to win a doubles match as they defeated Tea Jandric and Sabina Machalova (6-2). However, the Rebels responded quickly when their duo of Alexis Bortles and Arianne Hartono, who are ranked No. 11 in the country, defeated Andie Daniell and Luca Fabian 6-3.

It all came down to one match to decide who would get the doubles point. Jacqueline Pelletier and Smith Hinton answered the call for Alabama. The pair outdueled Allie Sanford and Tereza Janatova in a lengthy 8-6 match. Taking the early 1-0 lead the Crimson Tide hoped to take that momentum into singles play.

The momentum the Crimson Tide had soon vanished in singles play as Ole Miss won the first two matches.  Cortina-Pou was the first one to win her singles match for Alabama when she defeated Bortles. She would be the only one who would win her singles match for the Crimson Tide. Hartono clinched the victory for Ole Miss when she defeated Daniell  7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2.

Alabama will host Mississippi State and University of Tennessee at Martin on Saturday.

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