Alabama fights off Princeton rally to get 4-2 win, trip to Round of 16
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama is headed to the NCAA championship Round of 16 for the second consecutive season, advancing with a 4-2 victory against Princeton on Saturday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide moves to 24-4 overall, while the loss puts the Tigers at 19-6 overall.
Alabama took a 2-0 lead, however Princeton would even the match at 2-2 and would challenge in the remaining match before the Tide closed it out.
"We knew this was going to be a battle," Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz said. "Princeton is a good team. They are a tenacious group, and we knew we'd have our hands full. We've had a lot of matches like this throughout the season and came in prepared for this."
Alabama played another dominant doubles point with wins on court Nos. 1 and 2. The Tide's duo of Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe cruised to an 8-1 victory against Princeton's team of Lindsay Graff and Alana Wolff shortly before Mary Anne Daines and Danielle Spielmann clinched the first point of the afternoon with an 8-2 win against the Tigers' Amanda Muliawan and Emily Hahn.
Luicelena Perez picked up the first win in singles, extending her streak to 13 consecutive victories, with a 6-3, 6-2 decision on court No. 6. From there, Princeton then tied the match at 2-2, claiming wins on court Nos. 1 and 2. Jansen's 6-3, 6-4 victory on court No. 4 against Sivan Krems put Alabama back in front, moving the focus to the far end of the courts where Emily Zabor and Routliffe were both heading into third sets.
In the end, it would be Zabor again, who picked up a pivotal break to get the match back on serve at 4-4 and went on to take the last two games to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 on court No. 5 against Dorothy Tang.
Alabama will now face Notre Dame (17-9) at 9 a.m. ET May 15 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Georgia's campus.