No. 16 Women's Tennis Faces First SEC Road Test of the Season

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Junior Paulina Bigos (pictured) and the rest of the Tide hit the road for the first time in conference action this weekend
Junior Paulina Bigos (pictured) and the rest of the Tide hit the road for the first time in conference action this weekend

March 12, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 16th-ranked women’s tennis team (11-0, 2-0 SEC) looks to continue its school record winning streak as it hits the road for the first time in conference play. The Crimson Tide travels to Oxford to take on Ole Miss (4-4, 0-2 SEC) and Starkville to battle Mississippi State. The match between Alabama and the Rebels is set for Friday, March 13 at 3:00 p.m. (CST) and will be held at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The Tide and Bulldogs will square off on Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 p.m. (CST) at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

"This weekend presents more opportunities for the Tide,” said head coach Jenny Mainz. “It will be a good test for this team battling Ole Miss and Mississippi State on their respective courts. We need to continue playing solid, disciplined tennis and be ready to compete on every point."

Alabama heads into the weekend defeating two top 30 programs last weekend to open up SEC play. The Tide backed that up with a midweek sweep over non-conference opponent Marquette on Wednesday. The victory over Marquette set a new school record for consecutive wins, breaking the record of ten straight wins in 1980. Alabama senior Shelley Godwin was named SEC Player of the Week for her efforts last weekend. Godwin came through with the clinching win in both victories for the Tide, helping Alabama jump out to a 2-0 start in conference action. The Tide jumped inside the top 20 of this week’s rankings, the first time Alabama has done so since the 1997 season.

Ole Miss has dominated the all-time series with Alabama, holding a 27-12 advantage. However, the Tide does currently have a three match win streak over the Rebels. Ole Miss comes into the weekend ranked No. 67 in the nation, and has been as high as No. 52 this season. The Rebels are led by freshman Kristi Boxx, who is ranked 60th nationally in singles, with sophomore Karen Nijssen right behind her at No. 62. Although Ole Miss lost both matches this past weekend, Boxx did collect a huge victory, knocking off Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, the No. 6 player in the nation. Boxx and Nijssen have also been very successful in doubles this season, earning a national ranking of No. 28.

Alabama owns a 28-11 record against Mississippi State, including a tough 4-3 victory last season in Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 46 nationally, moving up eleven spots from last week’s poll. Mississippi State entered last weekend with an eight match win streak, but lost to both No. 15 Tennessee and No. 2 Georgia. The Bulldogs currently have no players ranked nationally in singles or doubles. Mississippi State is undefeated at home, holding a 4-0 record in Starkville this season.

Live scoring will be available for Sunday’s match against the Bulldogs and can be found by clicking here.