NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 23rd-ranked Tennessee women's tennis team earned its first victory in the SEC Tournament since 2013 on Wednesday, when the Vols defeated 14th-seeded Alabama, 4-0, at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr., Tennis Center.
"I feel absolutely incredible," Alison Ojeda said after the match. "We knew going into the match that Alabama was going to be tough. There comes a time when you understand that you've played enough tennis, and you believe in everything that's gotten us to where we are at this point in the season. Today, our energy and excitement was incredible. Our shot selection was fantastic. The execution was good but could still get better. Honestly, I feel fantastic. The girls did a great job."
UT (18-10) split the first two courts in doubles but edged out the 35th-ranked Crimson Tide to claim the doubles point. After that, the momentum shifted in favor of Tennessee, who took five of the first six sets in singles and quickly took Courts 2, 3 and 4 to seal the shut out.
In doubles, the duo of Sadie Hammond and Gabby Schuck breezed past Andie Daniell and Joanna Saava in a 6-2 match on Court 2. The Crimson Tide evened things up with 7-5 win on Court 1, where Brittany Lindl and Eve Repic to the eighth-ranked team of Erin Routliffe and Maddie Pothoff.
The match on Court 3 went back and forth. Down 3-1 early, Ariadna Riley and Johanna Silva rallied back to take a 5-3 lead. Then, the Crimson Tide fought their way back into it, pulling ahead 6-5.
The Volunteers forced a tiebreaker and faced a 6-4 deficit. UT would rally late, though, scoring three straight points to take the match and clinch the doubles point over Danielle Spielmann and Smith Hinton.
In singles, Hammond bounced back after an early deficit in the first set to cruise to a 7-5, 6-1 win over Danielle Spielmann on Court 3. Repic picked up her third ranked win in the last four matches, downing 103rd-ranked Andie Daniell, 6-2, 6-2, on Court 2. Riley clinched the match on Court 4 with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Maddie Pothoff.
With today's win, the Vols have now defeated seven ranked opponents this season and have shut out nine teams.
Tennessee will return to the courts on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. ET to face the 6th-seeded Mississippi State. The Bulldogs took the first matchup this season, 4-0, in Knoxville.
"You keep preparing the same way because it's just another match," Ojeda said about preparing for tomorrow's match. "There are too many times when you try to change things that it flusters people. We are going to keep going with what we know works. It's tournament time, so you win or go home. For us, we have to fight our tail off or go home. Mississippi State is good. We know that. I feel like it's the one match all season that our team just didn't show up. We didn't show nearly the heart or resiliency that our team has. I am absolutely thrilled to play them again."