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Match Preview: Women's Tennis at Alabama, NCAA Second Round

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 05/10/2014
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
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#47 2014 NCAA Tournament
Second Round
#2
(19-5, 7-0 Ivy)

May 10 • 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Live Stats | Tournament Central

(23-4, 12-1 SEC)
Princeton Tigers
Probable Lineups
based on last matches
Alabama Crimson Tide
(67) Lindsay Graff (Jr.)/Alanna Wolff (Fr.) 1st Doubles (4) Maya Jansen (So.)/Erin Routliffe (Fr.)
Emily Hahn (So.)/Amanda Muliawan (So.) 2nd (39) Mary Anne Daines (Sr.)/Danielle Spielmann (Fr.)
Joan Cannon (Jr.)/Dorothy Tang (Fr.) 3rd (71) Luicelena Perez (Jr.)/Emily Zabor (Jr.)
Lindsay Graff (Jr.) 1st Singles (65) Mary Anne Daines (Sr.)
(94) Alanna Wolff (Fr.) 2nd (93) Danielle Spielmann (Fr.)
Amanda Muliawan (So.) 3rd (77) Erin Routliffe (Fr.)
Sivan Krems (Fr.) 4th (110) Maya Jensen (So.)
Dorothy Tang (Fr.) 5th Emily Zabor (Jr.)
Katie Goepel (Jr.) 6th (109) Luicelena Perez (Jr.)

Head coaches: Princeton head coach Laura Granville is in her second season in her first head-coaching position while Alabama coach Jenny Mainz is in her 17th season at Alabama after two years at Iowa. Granville won her first NCAA tournament match as a head coach Friday, while Mainz is in the NCAAs for the 11th time with the Crimson Tide. She guided the team to the Round of 16 last season, their furthest advance in the 64-team tournament era (since 1999).

Against Alabama: Princeton and Alabama have never met. Princeton last defeated an SEC team on Feb. 20, 2010, a 4-3 win over No. 20 Vanderbilt in Jadwin Gym. SEC teams have won the last two matches against Princeton, including Vanderbilt in 2011 and Missouri in 2013. The Tigers are 5-6 all-time against the SEC, but seven of those 11 matches came between 1977 and 1985. Since then, the Tigers have faced Vanderbilt three times, losing twice in Nashville and winning once in Princeton, and Missouri once, losing 4-3 last season at Akron. Princeton's last win away from campus against an SEC school came in 1982 against Mississippi and the last road win over an SEC school was the program's only one, coming at Georgia in 1977.

Princeton has faced one ITA top-10 team in each of the last three seasons, taking defeats at No. 1 Stanford this season, No. 3 Duke last season and No. 6 Miami two seasons ago.

Player notes: Princeton had two 2014 All-Ivy League singles honorees in first-teamer and Ivy Player of the Year Lindsay Graff and second-teamer Alanna Wolff, with Wolff also earning a bid to the NCAA singles tournament. Graff and Wolff were a first-team doubles pair. Graff has been named All-Ivy in singles and doubles in each of her three seasons. Katherine Flanigan (singles) and Joan Cannon (doubles) were All-Ivy Leaguers last season. Wolff is ranked No. 94 on the ITA singles list and Graff and Wolff are ranked No. 67 in doubles.

Alabama has all three of its doubles pairs from the NCAA first round ranked and has five of its six singles players ranked. Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe are ranked No. 4 in the nation by the ITA, and Mary Anne Daines is the Tide's highest-ranked singles player at No. 65. Routliffe was named the SEC Co-Freshman of the Year this season while coach Jenny Mainz won the SEC Coach of the Year award. Routliffe was the only Tide player to be named first-team All-SEC this season, while Luicelena Perez and Jansen were second-team all-conference and Routliffe and Danielle Spielmann were conference all-freshman honorees.

NCAA Tournament History: This is Princeton's fifth trip to the NCAA tournament and already its most successful one, as the Tigers won an NCAA tournament match for the first time when they defeated Arizona State. Princeton is aiming to become the first Ivy League team since Harvard in 2005 to advance to the NCAA Round of 16. Alabama is in the postseason for the 13th time, all since 1993. The Crimson Tide advanced to the Round of 16 a year ago for the first time in the 64-team tournament era, which is since 1999.

Season Recap: Princeton enters the second round on an 11-match winning streak, its longest since 2000, after standing at 8-5 in mid-March. The Tigers lost their first four matches to ITA-ranked opponents but have now won the last four, with three in Ivy League play against No. 52 Yale, No. 46 Harvard and No. 37 Columbia, and the fourth against No. 25 Arizona State to open the postseason.

Of Alabama's 27 matches this season, only four have been played against teams that were not in the ITA top 75. The Crimson Tide had two early losses to top-15 teams USC and Virginia to stand at 3-2 in early February but then won 11 in a row before losing to No. 10 Vanderbilt in late March. Alabama then won seven straight before losing to No. 6 Georgia in the SEC Tournament final. The Tide are unbeaten this season against teams outside the ITA's top 75, and Princeton comes in ranked at No. 47.

Common Opponents: Princeton and Alabama have no common opponents this season. The only Ivy League team Alabama has ever faced is Harvard, compiling a 3-2 record against the Crimson between 1982 and 2005.

Against The Field: Among NCAA tournament teams, Princeton has faced Columbia, Stanford, Denver, FDU, Stony Brook, Ohio State, Miami (Fla.) and now Arizona State, going 4-4 against those opponents. Alabama has faced Georgia, USC, Vanderbilt, Florida, Texas Tech, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Auburn, South Carolina, Jackson State, Texas A&M, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia State, LSU, Rice, Kentucky and Virginia, piling up a 17-3 record against those teams.

Up Next: The winner will head to Georgia for the remainder of the tournament with the winner of Saturday's match in Evanston, Ill., between (16) Northwestern and (28) Notre Dame as the Round of 16 opponent on May 15.
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