19.09.2023 Views

The Crimson White Print Edition - September 21, 2023

  • No tags were found...

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

6A<br />

sports<br />

Alabama women’s tennis eager ahead of <strong>2023</strong>-24 season<br />

Members of the Alabama women’s tennis team huddle up before a match. Courtesy of UA Athletics<br />

Conner Davis<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

A s the <strong>2023</strong>-24 tennis<br />

season kicks off,<br />

there are some significant<br />

changes bringing<br />

excitement and eagerness<br />

to the players and coaches<br />

of the Alabama women’s<br />

tennis team.<br />

“It is about having<br />

the right intensity, body<br />

language and the right<br />

attitude, and that is what<br />

we are focusing on,” head<br />

coach Jonatan Berhane<br />

said.<br />

This season, the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide will have a<br />

familiar but new coaching<br />

staff. First-year head coach<br />

Berhane will lead the team<br />

after being with the team<br />

for five seasons as he<br />

replaces Jenny Mainz, who<br />

retired at the end of last<br />

season after 26 seasons.<br />

Assistant coach Alba<br />

Cortina Pou is also making<br />

her coaching debut after<br />

playing for the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide from 2017 to 20<strong>21</strong>.<br />

“For me the transition<br />

felt pretty organic because<br />

I’ve been here for five<br />

years as a coach, so I'm<br />

used to sports oversight,<br />

all of the administration<br />

and everyone we work<br />

with on a daily basis,”<br />

Berhane said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> team is returning<br />

seven of the 10 players on<br />

the team and adding one<br />

freshman and a transfer<br />

from Charlotte. New<br />

freshman Priya Nelson<br />

comes in as the No. 1<br />

recruit out of California<br />

and one of the top five<br />

nationally. Transfer<br />

graduate student Margaux<br />

Maquet is making the<br />

transition from the<br />

Conference USA to<br />

the SEC.<br />

Maquet is embarking<br />

on a new journey by<br />

joining the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

this year, coming from a<br />

Group of Five to a Power<br />

Five program and starting<br />

a new team. During the<br />

2022-23 season she had an<br />

overall singles record of<br />

23-10 with a doubles team<br />

record of 27-10.<br />

“[Alabama has a] good<br />

program, facilities are<br />

great, nice girls and good<br />

coaches. I’m excited to<br />

see how the season goes,”<br />

Maquet said. “Everything<br />

is made for the athlete.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are so many people<br />

around us to take care of<br />

everything.”<br />

Returning senior Anne<br />

Marie Hiser was a five-<br />

star recruit coming out<br />

of high school and has<br />

stayed with the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide ever since. During<br />

the 2022-23 season, Hiser<br />

had an overall singles<br />

record of 11-4, going 6-3 in<br />

conference play and had<br />

an overall doubles team<br />

record of 10-10. When<br />

talking about the team<br />

chemistry this season,<br />

Hiser had a lot of good<br />

things to say about<br />

the team.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> team chemistry is<br />

awesome,” Hiser said. “We<br />

are really close; we do a lot<br />

of things together outside<br />

of the court and that’s<br />

really showing on the<br />

court. I’m really looking<br />

forward to the girls and<br />

team aspect, playing<br />

together and playing for<br />

Bama and having fun.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> 2022-23 team did<br />

not have a great year.<br />

It had an overall record<br />

of 12-12, going 5-8 in<br />

conference play and<br />

losing at Auburn 3-4. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

seemed to play better at<br />

home with a home record<br />

of 7-3. This year’s team is<br />

excited to play Auburn as<br />

the match will be held in<br />

Tuscaloosa on Alabama’s<br />

senior night.<br />

“I am looking forward<br />

to the Auburn match<br />

because it’s senior night<br />

and it is a Friday night,<br />

so we are looking forward<br />

to having all the fans out<br />

supporting us,” Hiser said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> team will start<br />

off its season at the<br />

Debbie Southern Furman<br />

Classic, which is the first<br />

tournament of the fall.<br />

This tournament will be<br />

a good start for the team<br />

as they will get to see how<br />

they play together and<br />

where they can improve<br />

going forward during<br />

the season.<br />

“I am excited to see<br />

where the girls are, and<br />

it is going to be a good<br />

test because there will be<br />

basically be top 25 teams<br />

with Georgia, Georgia Tech,<br />

Miami, Duke and UNC —<br />

all the best teams in the<br />

country. I feel like this is a<br />

great opportunity for our<br />

girls,” Berhane said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> team has been<br />

working hard, putting<br />

in time and effort to get<br />

better, and now, with the<br />

season starting, they will<br />

have the chance to prove<br />

to everyone how hard they<br />

have been working.<br />

“Our team’s phrase for<br />

this year is ‘maximum<br />

effort.’ Everything we do,<br />

we do to the best of our<br />

ability. It’s about working<br />

hard putting in the time<br />

and effort,” Berhane said.<br />

FAST FACTS:<br />

7/10<br />

2022-<strong>2023</strong> team had<br />

7-3<br />

an overall record of<br />

players are returning<br />

to the team this year.<br />

12-12<br />

was the home<br />

record of the<br />

2022-<strong>2023</strong> team.<br />

Shop Boots,<br />

Jeans, & Hats<br />

at <strong>The</strong> Wharf<br />

in Northport<br />

220 Mcfarland Blvd N (205)-752-2075

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!