By (Mike Schwartz)

Entering the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic, there was little to no doubt that the women’s tennis team needed to pick up a win and fast. Dropping their last two match ups and three out of their last four, the team was in desperate need of positive results coming from the weekend, something to spring their season from. In one weekend, the Tide picked up two wins- both in dominating fashion.

With two resounding shutout victories against the University of Tulsa and the University of Denver, it appears the Tide is ready to roll into SEC play. While the sudden change of positive direction from the team may be surprising to some, it would be remiss to say that the team did in fact believe they were capable of this surge; more specifically, Smith Hinton.

“We have a chance to play pretty well and establish ourselves,” said Hinton before the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic. “I know we have struggled lately but I believe success will come in time, have to keep working.

Hinton may not be the modern day Nostradamus, but her prediction of the team’s turnaround is right on schedule. Only time will tell if her prediction will continue to ring true but for now Alabama looks ahead to its toughest stretch of the season.

Alabama will open up its SEC play of the spring season this weekend, as it travel west to Mississippi to take on the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The team will also be traveling with its heads high with their national ranking being its best all season, sitting at No. 34. It is yet another move in the right direction, but for some it may signal just the beginning.

“34th in the nation is nice and the recognition is cool but we can do better, we can keep getting better,” said Kimberley Gintrand, a freshmen from France.

Now that the Crimson Tide has a brand new ranking, the teams immediate success will be tested by the No. 17 Mississippi Rebels. A team that is blazing-hot coming into the matchup, not only winning three straight but also not allowing a single or doubles points to any of the last three opponents. Effectively shutting them out and outscoring the the opponents 15-0.

“If we bring the same energy we had last weekend to this weekend’s matchups then I think we have a good shot of winning. We have all the chance to beat [Ole Miss] and look forward to the challenge and the fight,” said Gintrand.

It will be a challenged for Alabama, and the fight, coupled with intensity, will be necessary to capture just one of the wins this upcoming weekend. The experience will no doubt help this young team in the long run but this weekend could signal a true change of direction for a team that has yet to crack the top 25 in two years. Until this weekend, it is all talk, time will tell if the talk will be backed up.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports