Men, Women Begin NCAA Tennis Play

NCAA tennis play gets underway Friday both for the Alabama women's team, which will be hosting first and second round action, and for the men's team, which is at Southern California, from whence came the Tide's head coach.

The Alabama women's tennis team will host NCAA Championship First and Second Round action on Friday and Saturday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. The Crimson Tide is slated to take on Northwestern State in Friday's first round match at 1 p.m. CDT. That match will be preceded by the Florida State/Memphis match, which is set to begin at 10 a.m.

The Alabama men's tennis team will take on San Diego in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Championship on Friday at 1 p.m. CDT at Marks Stadium on the USC campus in Los Angeles. The Crimson Tide is making its first appearance in the tournament since 2010 and 17th overall.

The Alabama women's team (19-5) enters as the tournament's No. 9 overall seed and is hosting for the second consecutive season. This will be the Tide's 12th NCAA Championship appearance and the 10th under Coach Jenny Mainz. Last season, the Tide won its opening contest, defeating Army, 4-0, before falling to Georgia Tech, 4-3, in the second round.

Five of Alabama's six players finished with 11 or more singles wins in dual-match play, led by Natalia Maynetto with a record of 18-1. In doubles, the Tide's top duo of Alexa Guarachi and Mary Anne Macfarlane have been ranked sixth or higher all season and enter the tournament with a record of 22-9 overall.

Northwestern State (14-7) comes in as the automatic qualifier out of the Southland Conference after winning the league's tournament. The Lady Demons are making their second appearance in the NCAA Championship, holding a record of 0-1 in the tournament after falling to top-seeded Baylor, 4-0, in 2010. Northwestern State's top four singles players have collected 14 or more singles wins in dual matches with Polina Konop leading the way at the No. 1 position. In doubles, the Lady Demons have a pair of teams that have combined for a 33-7 record at the top two positions.

The Alabama men's team heads into the 64-team draw with a 14-13 overall record after winning two of its three matches at the Southeastern Conference Championship. The Tide's trio at the top of the singles lineup in Jarryd Botha, Becker O'Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura won 16 apiece in dual match play, while Alabama's top two doubles teams have combined for 19 victories in the last 17 matches.

The Tide is in its first year under Coach George Husack, who came to Bama from Southern Cal.

San Diego is making its third straight and 10th overall appearance in the NCAA Championships, entering the tournament with a 17-9 record. The Toreros have been solid at the bottom of the lineup, with Uros Petronijevoc and Victor Pugliese winning 16 matches each. In doubles, Clarke Spinosa and Thibaut Visy lead the way at the top spot, positing a 12-5 mark in dual matches.

Friday's meeting will be the second in program history between Alabama and San Diego. In the previous match, which took place on March 30, 1990, the Tide won, 5-4.

The winner of the match will advance to the second round, taking on either USC or Sacramento State on Saturday at 5 p.m. CDT.

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