With just two matches remaining in the regular season, the Alabama’s women’s tennis team is still seeking its first SEC win on the year. The Crimson Tide travels to No. 21 Kentucky on Friday and then faces Tennessee in the regular season finale on Sunday. It hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for the Crimson Tide, with just a 4-15 record overall and no conference wins.
“We’re not thinking about last week or this month or the season at all,” coach Jenny Mainz said. “All we’re focused on are these upcoming matches and getting better as a team.”
That’s not to say that coming away with a win or two wouldn’t be welcomed by the team.
“There’s always a lot to play for,” Mainz said. “We’ve been so close, and to come away with a win to close out the season would be big, and show our resiliency.”
The team is not planning to treat its final two matches any differently than any of its previous matches. The preparation and mentality are the same as it has been all season.
“We’re not putting any extra emphasis on these matches,” junior Erin Routliffe said. “We just want to keep getting better and try to play better tennis. Obviously, it would be great to win, but we aren’t really focused on results right now. We’re focused on our own performance.”
In order to find success as a team, each player has to grow as an individual first. The team has realized this and altered its focus.
“I keep learning more that I can improve on,” junior Joanna Nena Savva said. “The important thing is getting comfortable with your game, and always trying to get better. That’s the key, and that’s what we always try to do.”
“Continue to improve,” has been the mantra for the team all season. While the team would love to see as many victories as possible, it is just as concerned with elevating its play. Despite the low win total this season, the team believes it has gotten better and learned what it needs to improve upon.
Routliffe said she has learned she’s more successful when she focuses on her game and her own strengths and not her opponent’s weaknesses. She has also learned she does better when she’s positive with herself.
Mainz believes that resiliency is an important lesson the team can take away from this season.
“When you’re struggling, you’re assessing things,” Mainz said. “The quick and easy thing to do is to think the wheels are falling off and you’re not doing anything right, but I don’t necessarily believe that. Sometimes things are hard and that’s okay, but you have to keep working through it and fighting through it. This is where we are, and we’ve got to get through it as a team.”
The Crimson Tide will close out the season this weekend, but regardless of the results, the team already has an idea of what it needs to work on during the offseason to rebound next year.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports