COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Alabama women's tennis team opened the 2015 Southeastern Conference Tournament with a 4-0 shutout victory over the Auburn Tigers on Thursday morning at the Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Due to inclement weather, the match between the intrastate rivals was shifted to the indoor courts where the two teams opened play with four singles matches. The Tide took the opening set on all four courts, and sailed to its eighth shutout victory of the 2015 season.
"Our goal for this tournament was to get off to a quick start and build some momentum and confidence," said head coach Jenny Mainz. "Playing on just four indoor courts it's really important for everyone to really get their teeth into their matches early, and I think we did a great job of that today."
Alabama built a quick 2-0 lead to begin singles play, as Danielle Spielmann secured a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Auburn's Emily Flickinger on court two, followed by an Erin Routliffe 6-4, 6-3 win over Pleun Burgmans on court one.
Extending the Tide's lead to 3-0 was Maya Jansen who defeated Auburn's Andie Dikosavljevic 7-6(5), 6-4 on court three. Jansen erased a 5-3 deficit in her first set to earn the 7-6 come-from-behind victory in the tiebreaker.
"Winning the first set was huge for me," said Jansen. "I was able to really relax and play confidently once I had some momentum."
Junior Natalia Maynetto stamped the shutout and clinched the match for the Tide, defeating Auburn's Reka Muller 6-4, 6-4 on court four. Maynetto also erased an early deficit, taking five consecutive games after trailing in her first set, 4-1.
"It always feels good to earn the clinching point, but this was another total team effort," said Maynetto. "Today is a really great example of what this team is capable of when we all come together."
With the victory, Alabama advances to face No. 5 seed Vanderbilt on Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. CT. The Commodores defeated the Crimson Tide by a final score of 4-3 in the two teams' only meeting during the regular season on March 29 in Tuscaloosa.