The University of Alabama is a brand. It is a household name that is known across the nation. The athletic program is top of the line. One team in particular that deserves more credit, is the women’s tennis team. For the past 21 years, this year being the twenty-second, the team has been led by head coach, Jenny Mainz.

After speaking with Mainz, it is clear why the team has been so successful under her leadership. From speaking words of encouragement to the girls while practicing, which I got to hear firsthand, to the team participating in community service because she believes they are so abundantly blessed that they have to give back. She stresses the importance of those aspiring to play tennis setting goals, and believing in their abilities as athletes, so that other people can see their potential as well.

Under Mainz’s leadership, the team has won two National Championships in women’s doubles as well as an SEC Championship in 2014. In the 2016-2017 season, seven players were recognized as Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athletes, with a combined 3.82 GPA. This was the highest team GPA of the 17 UA athletic programs.

Team meals and team retreats help these women build a friendship, which undoubtedly helps them on the court. Alba Cortina Pou, a junior from Blanes, Spain said that the best way she can describe her team is that they “play for each other”, as well as Mainz saying the girls have made a commitment to “Love each other, care for each other, and serve each other.” Having that close knit bond with each other that they build off the court, as well as reflecting each others good energy, helps these women excel at their craft.

Getting to watch a couple of minutes of practice between coaches and players, the camaraderie and abundance of uplifting words between them does not go unnoticed. Here at UA, sports are huge because our coaches take the time to invest in the growth of their players, which is why we always come out on top.

(Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)