By (Ben Boynton)

On a very windy Friday night, the Alabama women’s tennis team hosted No. 6 Florida, a team with four players ranked in the top 70 nationally.

The match didn’t go in favor of the Crimson Tide as it fell, 6-1.

“I think they’re the most disciplined team we’ve played so far,” coach Jenny Mainz. “They make balls, they’re physical, and they come out here ready to work on every ball and every point. They’re sixth in the country, but they’re better than that, and we have to get better to challenge them.”

In doubles play, Florida quickly set the tone for the rest of the match. The Gators duo of Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan, ranked seventh in the country, took down senior Natalia Maynetto and junior Erin Routliffe on court one. Florida clinched the point by defeating freshman Andie Daniell and Joanna Nena Savva, 6-2, on court two.

The Gators continued to maintain control, taking all six first sets in singles play. The second point of the match went to the Gators, as Routliffe lost to No. 8 Austin 6-1, 6-2 in number one slot. Florida took the 3-0 lead, defeating Maynetto 6-1, 6-2 on court three. Savva’s 6-1, 6-3 loss on court five moments later finalized the loss for the Crimson Tide. Right after Savva’s defeat, sophomore Bennett Dunn lost 6-1, 6-2 on court six to increase Florida’s lead to 5-0. Junior Danielle Spielmann lost a tiebreaker in a long first set before dropping the second set and the match 7-6 (3), 6-0 on court four.

Daniell’s number two singles match was the last to finish. After losing her first set 6-4, Daniell took the second set 7-5 before winning the tiebreaker, 10-6, in lieu of a third set to give Alabama its only point of the night.

“It felt good,” Daniell said. “It was a lot of fun, we had a lot of really good points, and I really enjoyed being out there. She [Florida’s Brianna Morgan] was such a good competitor, and it was a win that gave me a lot of joy because I really had to earn it.”

Mainz was thrilled about her freshman’s win to close out the match.

“For Andie to be able to finish that match and stay composed and find a way to win it was a moral victory for our team,” Mainz said. “That’s the future of our program right there. What a bright spot.”

Alabama falls to 4-14 on the season, 0-10 in SEC play. Florida moves up to 15-2, 10-2 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide hosts No. 10 South Carolina Sunday, April 10 in its last home match of the year. The match is also Senior Day for Maynetto, Alabama’s lone senior.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports