Bama's Stephenson Named SEC Player of the Week

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Monday, March 01, 2004

Robin Stephenson

Alabama women’s tennis sophomore Robin Stephenson was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday after a perfect 4-0 SEC start, winning two singles matches and two doubles matches in the opening weekend of conference play. 

Stephenson capped her perfect weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., leading the Crimson Tide to a 4-3 triumph over the Lady Vols (5-7, 1-1 SEC) on Sunday.  In singles play, Stephenson pulled off her second upset of a ranked opponent with a convincing win over Tennessee’s 27th-ranked Tammy Encina in straight-sets, 6-3, 6-0.  Stephenson teamed with Ashley Bentley, clinching the doubles point with a 9-8 win at No. 1 doubles over the Lady Vols.

On Friday, Stephenson defeated the Top-ranked player in the country, Agata Cioroch, in Alabama’s league opener, handing the Lady Bulldog senior only her 3rd loss of the season.  Playing at No. 1 singles, Stephenson captured the first set against Cioroch 6-3, and was up 5-2 in the second, but ended up losing the set in a tiebreaker.  Stephenson immediately went up 3-1 in the super-breaker before winning 10-8. 

Stephenson partnered with Bentley in doubles to defeat Georgia’s Cioroch and Alexandra Smith 8-3 at No. 1 doubles.  Alabama (5-4, 1-1 SEC) dropped the match to the No. 2 Bulldogs (8-1, 2-0 SEC), 5-2.

“She’s truly deserving of this award,” Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz said.  “It’s a phenomenal start to the SEC season and a testament to her deciding she’s turned a corner and can play against anyone in the country.  From a mental aspect she’s decided that she’s going to lead this team.”

Alabama is back in action at home this weekend, hosting Ole Miss on Friday at 3 p.m. and Mississippi Sate on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the UA Rec courts.