BENTONVILLE, Ark. The Alabama women’s tennis team (9-9, 5-5 SEC) lost an SEC Western Division showdown Sunday afternoon to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 4-3. The loss pulls Arkansas into a tie with Alabama atop the division standings with one conference match left to play.
Ashley Bentley, Shelley Godwin and Melissa Day all earned singles wins for Alabama, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Crimson Tide to victory.
Ela Kaluder clinched the dual-match victory for Arkansas with a three-set win over Alabama’s Mari Muller. Muller won a crucial second-set tiebreaker to force a decisive third set, but couldn’t pull out the win.
Bentley’s dominating victory at No. 2 singles, 6-0, 6-1, was her 89th career win and moved her into sole possession of second place on Alabama’s all-time career wins list.
In doubles, both teams split wins on courts No. 1 and No. 3, leaving the point to be decided by the outcome on court 2. Alabama’s Melissa Day and Natalie McElveen led 7-5 and served for the match, but the Arkansas duo broke serve in two consecutive games and served out for the match victory.
Alabama will step out of conference play this Wednesday when it takes on South Alabama in Mobile. The Crimson Tide will then close out its regular season on the road with rival Auburn next Saturday.
Tennis Match Results:
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Wal-Mart Life and Fitness Center
Arkansas 4, Alabama 3
1. Aurelija Miseviciute (AR) def. Robin Stephenson (AL) 6-4, 6-0
2. Ashley Bentley (AL) def. Vlatka Jovanovic (AR) def. 6-0, 6-1
3. Ela Kaluder (AR) def. Mari Muller (AL) 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-2
4. Maryori Franco (AR) Natalie McElveen (AL) 6-1, 6-1
5. Shelley Godwin (AL) def. Melissa Cornett (AR) 6-2, 6-1
6. Melissa Day (AL) def. Karina Ledaja (AR) 6-3, 5-4, ret.
1. Ashley Bentley/Robin Stephenson (AL) def. Maryori Franco/Karina Ledaja (AR) 8-4
2. Melissa Cornett/Aurelija Miseviciute (AR) def. Melissa Day/Natalie McElveen (AL) 9-7
3. Vlatka Jovanovic/Ela Kaluder (AR) def. Mari Muller/Andrea Brenes (AL) 8-6