MADDIE POTHOFF REACHES
NCAA DOUBLES FINAL
May 29, 2017
ATHENS, Ga. – Former Southwest junior and Alabama women’s tennis freshman Maddie Pothoff (Tucson, Ariz.) finished a stellar first year in college this past weekend with an NCAA runner-up finish in women’s doubles.
Pothoff’s run to the title with senior partner Erin Routliffe came up a hair short, as the No. 5 ranked Crimson Tide duo fell 6-7 (5), 6-4, 10-7 to No. 18 ranked Francesca Di Lorenzo and Miho Kowase of Ohio State in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Doubles National Championship at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia.
The first set in the final was a back and forth affair, with Routliffe and Pothoff getting the early break to stake themselves to an early 3-1 lead. Both teams held to 5-3, but a hiccup by the Alabama pair got them broken to level at 5-5. A first-set tiebreaker would ultimately decide the first set, which the Alabama duo snagged 7-5.
Di Lorenzo and Kowase quickly responded, winning the opening two games of the second set, before Routliffe and Pothoff leveled right back to 2-all. The Alabama duo appeared in control before was broken to fall behind 4-3 in the second set, which Di Lorenzo and Kowase closed out at 6-4, sending the match into a final-set 10-point tiebreaker.
Pothoff and Routliffe got as close as 6-5, just a mere four points away from the title, but Ohio State's tandem swept five of the last six points to clinch the doubles national championship.
Pothoff’s freshman 2016-2017 season, while falling one match short of a national championship, was nothing short of remarkable. She earned NCAA All-American status and won more than 30 matches for the Crimson Tide this season in a stacked Southeastern Conference (10 of the 14 SEC teams were ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Top 32 teams).