Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up. Smith Hinton, the lone senior on the women’s tennis team knows this statement all too well. Last year was Hinton’s first year at the capstone. Fresh off of transferring from University of Kansas and being named to the All-Big 12 Second Team as a sophomore, Hinton was hoping to continue her success in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. However, in her eyes she had one of the worst seasons of her career and seemed to have lost the love for the game.
It was Friday the 13th, and for University of Alabama women’s tennis, it faced a scary situation. The team was looking to improve on its 1-10 conference record, and get its first home victory in SEC play. Neither happened. Alabama fell to LSU 4-3 in a hard fought battle Friday night which pushed its record to 14-14 on the year.
In the beginning of 2016, Edson Ortiz faced a tough decision: should he go to college and play tennis at a university or should he turn pro? A professional salary entices many kids to turn pro, but Edson Ortiz decided he wanted to attend college, where he could play tennis and get an education. His decision was down to the University of Miami or The University of Alabama.
The Crimson Tide drop to 1-5 in SEC play, and they’re still looking for their first win in program history against the Aggies.
The big bright scoreboard in the middle of the tennis stadium went pitch black during the women’s match between Alabama and Florida Thursday night. Maybe it was a good thing, so the audience couldn’t see the score. It took the crew over an hour to fix the scoreboard, but moments after scores were back on the board Alabama suffered it’s sixth straight SEC loss.
Before every tennis match, senior Smith Hinton has to wear one thing in particular. It doesn’t matter if the match is indoors or outdoors, Hinton needs her visor. “I always wear my hair the same; I always wear a visor it would mess me up if I didn’t,” Hinton said. “I guess I’m a little superstitious.”
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.
University of Alabama men's tennis team was reminded how good the SEC is on Friday night. Alabama opened up SEC play with a tough 4-3 loss over Vanderbilt. This marks the second loss of the season for the Crimson Tide. Coming into Friday's match, Alabama boasted a 14-1 record which was the best start in program history since 1976. It had also won 15 consecutive doubles points. Both streaks came to an end Friday against Vanderbilt.