Sunday, February 15, 2004
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Millie Begovic returned and Alabama women’s tennis defeated No. 52 Florida State (ITA) 5-2 Sunday afternoon at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.
Begovic, a senior, returned to the team today and got wins at both No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles. She defeated the Seminoles Lindsay Deason 4-6, 6-2 and 7-5 in singles and teamed up with freshman Mari Muller to defeat Christina Denny and Brooke Cordell of Florida State, 8-3, in doubles.
“Millie wears her heart on her sleeve,” said Alabama Head Coach Jenny Mainz. “She is so vocal and visible and unwilling to yield. I can’t say enough about her passion for this team and the character of our team to embrace her return.”
“I’m just happy to be back,” Begovic said. “There was a lot of pressure on the team to only play with five healthy players and know you had to win four of five to get a victory. I’ve missed the competition and I’m glad I can help out the team.”
No. 32 Alabama (2-2) got off to a fast start winning the doubles point by sweeping all three matches. Along with Begovic and Muller’s win, Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley defeated Mihaela Moldovan and Roxanne Clarke, 8-3 and Nathalie Koppelle and Melissa Minor defeated Deason and Anca Dumitrescu, 8-5.
The Crimson Tide also got singles victories at No. 1 with Robin Stephenson, No. 3 with Ashley Bentley and No. 6 with Mari Muller. Stephenson defeated the 63rd ranked player in the country, Anca Dumitrescu in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, Bentley won 6-2, 6-1 over Christina Denny and Muller won 6-3, 6-4 over Alina Mihailescu to clinch the match for Bama.
Alabama became the first team to defeat the Seminoles, who were 6-0 coming into today’s match. The win also marked the fourth straight win over Florida State for Alabama, improving Mainz’s record to 4-0 against the team she was an assistant for from 1993-95.
Alabama will travel to Texas for their next three matches. The Tide will play at Houston on February 20, at SMU on February 21 and at No. 62 Rice on February 22. The next home match for the Crimson Tide will be on Feb. 27, when Alabama opens up conference play against the second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
Complete Match Results Follow:
Alabama 5, Florida State 2
1. Robin Stephenson/Ashley Bentley (UA) d. Mihaela Moldovan/Roxanne Clarke (FSU) 8-3
2. Nathalie Kopelle/Melissa Minor (UA) d. Lindsay Deason/Anca Dumitrescu (FSU) 8-5
3. Millie Begovic/Mari Muller (UA) d. Christina Denny/Brooke Cordell (FSU) 8-3
1. Robin Stephenson (UA) d. No. 63 Anca Dumitrescu (FSU) 6-2, 6-1
2. No. 79 Mihaela Moldovan (FSU) d. Nathalie Koppelle (UA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
3. Ashley Bentley (UA) d. Christina Denny (FSU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Millie Begovic (UA) d. Lindsay Deason (FSU) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
5. Roxanne Clarke (FSU) d. Melissa Minor (UA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
6. Mari Muller (UA) d. Alina Mihailescu (FSU) 6-3, 6-4