Tuesday, April 13, 2004
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama women’s tennis squad finished off its season the way it started, in dramatic fashion with a 4-3 win over South Alabama at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility on Tuesday.
Crimson Tide sophomore Melissa Minor gave Alabama the clinching point with a three set win over USA’s Klara Jarova, stemming a furious comeback by the Jaguars.
Alabama won the doubles point, then led 3-0 in the match after quick wins by the top two singles player, Ashley Bentley and Robin Stephenson. The Jags won the next three singles matches to even the score at 3-3 before Minor’s marathon victory.
The match mirrored the Tide’s first dual match of the season, where ‘Bama led Louisville 3-0 before losing the next three matches. Minor was in the same position in that match as well, winning in the last match on court to clinch the victory.
“We did a nice job tonight from a mental aspect of not getting down on ourselves and not panicking and relying on our strengths,” Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz said. “We’ve done a lot of hard work and progressed throughout the season and it’s time for us to surge.”
Prior to the match, Alabama honored Millie Begovic, the squad’s lone senior.
Alabama draws a rematch with rival Auburn in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament at 1 p.m. Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. Auburn beat Alabama in a 4-3 match in Auburn last Saturday.
Complete Match Results Follow:
#26 Alabama 4, #47 South Alabama 3
1. #19 Stephenson/Bentley (UA) d. Palenikova/Rupic (USA), 8-5
2. Koppelle/Minor (UA) d. Jarova/Kurekova (USA), 8-4
3. Begovic/Nikolic (UA) d. Jager/Nemcovicova (USA), 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. #44 Robin Stephenson (UA) d. Marlieke Jager (USA), 6-0, 6-2
2. #71 Ashley Bentley (UA) d. Dominika Nemcovicova (USA), 6-2,6-1
3. Ana Rupic (USA) d. Nathalie Koppelle (UA), 6-2, 6-4
4. Katarina Palenikova (USA) d. Millie Begovic (UA), 7-6 (5), 6-2
5. Melissa Minor (UA) d. Klara Jarova (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3*
6. Andrea Kurekova (USA) d. Sonja Nikolic (UA), 6-1, 7-5
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 4, 3, 6, 5