With both teams cheering on the final match from the sidelines, the women’s tennis team lost a nail-biter Saturday afternoon at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center, falling to the Alabama Crimson Tide 4-3.For the Horned Frogs, it was the second straight event that came down the final singles match, as sophomore Idunn Hertzberg fell to the Tide’s Taylor Lindsey, 4-6, 4-6. The matches marked the team’s third straight loss.
“We’ve got a bear of a schedule and we have high expectations, but we’ve lost a couple of tight ones,” said Horned Frog head coach Jefferson Hammond. “We’re going to have ups and downs in terms of execution and now we’re having one of the downs. We’ll get it together.”
Freshman Gaby Mastromarino, who won in both doubles and singles play after defeating the Tide’s Meritt Emery in straight sets, said it’s always difficult for a team when an event rides on one player’s shoulders.
“I’ve been in this situation where I was the last match and it’s really hard to have everyone watch you and know that it’s up to you, so I feel for her,” Mastromarino said of her teammate Hertzberg.
The team fell to 4-5 for the season, while the Tide, ranked 63rd, remained undefeated, moving to 8-0.
Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz said her team came out strong after losing its first doubles point of the season. She said experience was key in the final match because Lindsey had been in the final position on two other occasions in the season.
“A lot of times when it’s your first rodeo, you don’t respond the same way, but after you’ve done it a couple of times you kind of work through the nerves and work through the pressure,” Mainz said.
Sophomore Maria Babanova, who found herself in the same situation in the last match Thursday when the team lost to Texas Tech, said the Horned Frogs would rebound.
“We’re not upset,” said Babanova, who had won her doubles match with Mastromarino earlier in the day. She said the team would be ready for Thursday’s matches at Texas A&M University.
“We’re going to compete against A&M as hard as we can, so we’re not worried at all,” she said.