Alabama has already knocked off a pair of ranked opponents this season, but will look to snap its current two-match losing skid and win for the first time this season on the road when it takes the courts at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Junior Joseph Jung vaulted up 42 spots in the latest Fila/ITA rankings, released Wednesday. After starting the spring 5-0 at No. 1 singles, Jung jumped from No. 100 to No. 58 in the national rankings to earn his highest career ranking. He's won 14 in a row in dual-match competition and has recorded two wins this spring over ranked opponents. By the time Saturday's match rolls around, it will mark 11 months to the day that Jung last lost in a team setting.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Jung's current roll, though, lies in his ability to pull out close, three-set matches. Jung's last four matches, and eight of his last 10, have all extended into a third set. Remarkably, he's won seven of the eight.
No doubt, Alabama will once again look to Jung Saturday to come through at No. 1 singles. He'll likely face No. 98-ranked Sam Chang, who is 16-10 on the season, although the Seminoles have played previously-ranked Ytai Abougzir at the No. 1 position this season as well.
The Seminoles have been shutout in two of their last three matches, but both were against top-10 opponents at last week's National Team Indoor Championships.
Alabama would like to see that streak continue, but knows it needs to see much of the same production throughout its singles line-up that it has received through the early stages of season. Through the Tide's first five dual-matches the team has seen improvement in all areas of its singles line-up. Overall in singles play this spring Alabama is 18-12 and has already rallied to win twice after dropping the doubles point, something it did only once in 2005. Five Alabama players are currently .500 or better in dual-match play entering Saturday's match.
Fans can keep up with the action via live stats on www.rolltide.com.