In its final home match of the season, the 51st-ranked Alabama men's tennis team posted a 4-3 win over UAB on Wednesday at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. The Crimson Tide (10-10) captured the doubles point and went on to win three of the six singles contests for the team victory over the Blazers (9-9).
"This was a good win, and we needed a win," Alabama head coach Billy Pate said. "We played ok, but we could have played better. It was a tense doubles point that ended up being crucial. UAB gave us a good challenge today. They made it a little closer than we would have liked, but they pushed us."
In doubles, UAB took an early lead on court two for the win as junior Danny Manlow and freshman Chris Helliar posted an 8-5 victory over juniors Vikram Reddy and Michael Thompson. The Tide duo avoided a pair of match points as it was down 7-3, but the Blazers would break after a long final game for the win. Court three was next to finish where senior Trey Walston and freshman Daniil Proskura earned a crucial break late setting up to serve on match point where they delivered for the 8-6 win over junior Daniel Moser and freshman Lucas Dirube. The point would come down to the battle on court one that was eventually played out in a tiebreaker. Alabama junior Ricky Doverspike and sophomore Jarryd Botha took a 2-0 lead before UAB sophomores Tom Puetz and David Zimmerman evened the count. From there, the Tide tandem earned the next two points and never allowed the Blazers to tie the tiebreaker again, winning 7-4.
In singles, Reddy gave Alabama its first point as he topped Manlow 6-1, 6-3 on court four. Proskura was next to finish, putting the Tide one win away from securing the team win, as he earned a 6-0, 6-3 victory against Puetz. UAB captured the next two singles points, first from Moser as he posted a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Thompson on court five. The Blazers next point was awarded on court six with Helliar's 6-4, 6-2 win over sophomore Ian Chadwell. Doverspike gave Alabama its fourth point to clinch the team victory as he edged Dirube 6-3, 7-5 on court one. Down 4-3 in the second set, Doverspike broke back to even the count at 4-4. He would get an even bigger break in the final game of the match giving Doverspike, and the Tide, the win. Last to finish was the matchup on court two that ended up going in favor of the Blazers, with Zimmerman earning a 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 win over Botha on court two.
Next up, Alabama will play in its final match of the regular season when it heads to Auburn to take on the 18th-ranked Tigers on Saturday, April 16. First serve is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT.
1. Doverspike/Botha (UA) def. Zimmerman/Puetz (UAB) 9-8(4)
2. Manlow/Helliar (UAB) def. Reddy/Thompson (UA) 8-5
3. Proskura/Walston (UA) def. Moser/Dirube (UAB) 8-6
Order of Finish: 2,3,1
1. Ricky Doverspike (UA) def. Lucas Dirube (UAB) 6-3, 7-5
2. David Zimmerman (UAB) def. Jarryd Botha (UA) 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-2
3. Daniil Proskura (UA) def. Tom Puetz (UAB) 6-0, 6-3
4. Vikram Reddy (UA) def. Danny Manlow (UAB) 6-1, 6-3
5. Daniel Moser (UAB) def. Michael Thompson (UA) 6-1, 6-3
6. Chris Helliar (UAB) def. Ian Chadwell (UA) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 4,3,5,6,1*,2