Williams rallies from seemingly certain defeat to win in third set

March 27, 2016

Whitney Williams tennis

Whitney Williams

The score was as bad as it could get on a tennis court, yet Whitney Williams of Anchorage remained cool, calm and confident.

The Abilene Christian University sophomore faced remarkably long odds after losing the first set of her No. 5 singles match against McNeese State and trailing 5-2 in the second.

“I had a very slow start,” she told the school’s website. “I couldn’t find the court for some reason.”

It wasn’t long before Williams straightened out her game and rallied for an epic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over freshman Charoline Erlandsson, a former nationally ranked junior player in Sweden.

The Alaskan won 13 of the final 15 games to secure the greatest comeback of her tennis career.

Williams, of South High fame, said she thought about a team meeting the day before where her coach Hutton Jones preached about taking the court with a winning expectation. It gave her inspiration, although his pep talk didn’t include spotting such a large lead.

“There was no point in that match where I thought I would lose,” Williams said.

Her victory secured the clinching point in Abilene Christian’s 5-2 win over McNeese State in NCAA D1 action in Texas.

Afterwards, Sutton praised Williams for fighting back from such long odds.

“I’ve always called Whitney a gamer,” he told the school’s website. “When the lights are on she’s comfortable in a tough situation. This girl was good, too.

“We’re a tougher team today because we beat a tough team.”