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Alabama ekes past Lady Vol tennis at SEC tournament

6:02 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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From UT Sports--

STARKVILLE, Miss. - In a tough battle with Alabama the University of Tennessee women's tennis team was edged out by the Crimson Tide in a 4-3 comebacker in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament Friday.

The match was decided by the doubles point as Tennessee split in singles play with Alabama with the top of the lineup earned the Lady Vols' three match points on the day.

The Lady Vols fall to 12-11 on the season and will now await the NCAA team selection show scheduled for April 30 at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Vols selected to take part in the Singles and Doubles Championships will find out their fate on May 1 at 6 p.m.

"We played a good match," said co-head coach Mike Patrick. "We were a little bit better in doubles than we were last time. We came out on fire in the singles and we competed at every spot. We are disappointed that we didn't make it happen but I am glad to see that we fought at every place and had opportunities to get it done against a good team."

"We seem to have been one player short, one person short, or one point short all season and hopefully we can get that corrected in the next two weeks headed into NCAAs."

Despite some hard fought battles in the doubles round, the Lady Vols began the match at a 1-0 deficit falling 8-5 on courts one and two.

Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely, the nation's fifth ranked team, went head-to-head with Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane, the sixth ranked team in the country and despite a valiant comeback effort, could not defeat the Crimson Tide.

On court two, Joanna Henderson and Sarah Toti, playing together for just the second time this season had a slight lead for most of the match, but Alabama turned it on at the end to claim the doubles point.

The top of the Lady Vols lineup was victorious over Alabama turning a 0-1 deficit into a 3-1 match lead.

In singles, No. 24 ranked Boren knotted the match score up at one-all with a brilliant 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 29 Macfarlane. Boren controlled the ballgame from the start and cruised to the win.

Caitlyn Williams added to the Lady Vols' lead with a 6-1, 6-4 win of her own, remaining undefeated in singles play in the SEC Tournament and against Alabama this season.

Szekely, ranked 31st in the nation entering the tournament, opened the match up to a 3-1 Lady Vol lead as she captured a 6-4, 7-5 win on court two over No. 47 Guarachi.

Alabama crept back into the match as No. 113 Natalia Maynetto eked out a first set win over Tiffany Tavares using the tiebreaker. She then continued on to a 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory on court five to bring the Alabama to within one.

No. 111 Maya Jansen evened the match up for the Crimson Tide using a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Mimi Fotopoulos on court four and just a few moments later Alabama came away with the comeback victory as Emily Zabor defeated Jesse Grace 7-6 (2), 6-1 on court six.

The Lady Vols will have the next couple of weeks off as they await the decision of where they will play in the NCAA Tournament. The first and second rounds will begin May 10.

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