Tide Women's Tennis Ousted By Tar Heels

ATHENS, Ga. – The second-seeded Alabama women's tennis team ended its run in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, falling 4-2 to No. 7 North Carolina at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. With the quarterfinals loss, the Crimson Tide ends its season with a 25-5 record, the best under head coach Jenny Mainz and the best in three decades, while the Tar Heels improve to 28-5 with the win.

Alabama came up just shy of securing the doubles point and was making comebacks in singles after dropping four first sets, however North Carolina would hold on and clinched with a three-set victory on court two.

"The doubles point was big," said Mainz. "We needed it today, but North Carolina took it from us. We were too tight. We had our opportunities in singles, but we weren't able to get it. I wish North Carolina well though. They played a great match."

North Carolina got off to a strong start in doubles earning early breaks across the board. The Tar Heels continued that momentum on court three where the duo of Ashley Dai and Tessa Lyons posted an 8-2 victory over Luicelena Perez and Emily Zabor. Alabama's Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe, ranked fourth in the nation, then evened things up with an 8-5 win after earning a pivotal break to lead 6-4 on court one against third-ranked Jamie Loeb and Hayley Carter.

The doubles point would come down to the match on court two where 39th-ranked Mary Anne Daines and Danielle Spielmann overcame a 3-1 deficit to even the match up at 4-4 and eventually send it into a tiebreaker. North Carolina would go on to win the breaker 7-5 to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In singles, a 6-4, 6-3 win for 110th-ranked Jansen over Kay at the No. 4 position evened the match at 1-1, however the Tar Heels would take the lead back shortly after and pulled in front 3-1 with victories on courts one and five.

After losing first sets on courts two and six, Spielmann and Perez battled to split sets, while Routliffe was taking care of business on court three. The freshman from Ontario overcame an early deficit in her second-set tiebreaker to post a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory over 59th-ranked Price, bringing the Tide within one of the Heels. In the end, it would be fifth-ranked Carter clinching for North Carolina as she held on to win in three over No. 93 Spielmann, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

"We've had a heck of a season," added Mainz. "I'm very proud of this team. We competed well all season, and we have nothing to hang our heads about. We played together all season and got better as a team as we went on. I am very proud of them."

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