Thursday, April 15, 2004
Nashville, Tenn. — The Alabama women’s tennis team got off to a good start Thursday at the SEC Tournament with a first round shutout of arch-rival Auburn, 4-0.
The Tide swept the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and sophomore Robin Stephenson (No. 44 ITA) clinched the match at No. 1 singles with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Auburn’s Petra Bercik.
“This was a great day for Alabama Tennis,” said Alabama Head Coach Jenny Mainz. “We had a cause today, the team was fired up and ready, and I’m very pleased with the way we competed today.”
Alabama lost to Auburn on Sunday, 4-3 and the Tide’s Ashley Bentley (No. 71) lost only her second conference match of the year to the Tigers’ Carolina Ramirez. Bentley and the Tide were determined to win the rematch. Bentley took care of her promise with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Ramirez.
“Ashley Bentley told me that (losing to Ramirez) would not happen again,” Mainz said. “She was ready to play and willed herself to win.”
Bentley and Stephenson, the No. 19 doubles team in the country, won at No. 1 8-4 over Bercik and Ramirez. Tide sophomore Melissa Minor and senior Millie Begovic defeated Auburn’s Sarah Suitor and Liz Sauerborn at No. 2 doubles, 8-4. Begovic followed up the doubles win with an impressive 6-3, 6-2 win over Sauerborn at No. 4 singles. Begovic also defeated Sauerborn on Sunday at No. 4, 6-4, 6-4.
“Millie was incredible,” Mainz said. “She had high energy and great momentum from doubles.”
The seventh-seeded Tide will now face the second seed Vanderbilt Commodores, No. 3 in the country, on Friday. The Commodores defeated Alabama 7-0 on March 26 in Nashville. It was the only time the Tide has been shutout all season. The match is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
Complete Match Results Follow:
#32 Alabama (7) 4, #61 Auburn (10) 0
1. #19 Stephenson/Bentley (UA) d. Bercik/Ramirez (AU), 8-4
2. Minor/Begovic (UA) d. Suitor/Sauerborn (AU), 8-4
3. Koppelle/Muller (UA) led Ashley Cowart/Rosenbrock (AU), 7-2 susp.
Order of Finish: 1, 2
1. #44 Robin Stephenson (UA) d. Petra Bercik (AU), 6-2, 6-2*
2. #71 Ashley Bentley (UA) d. Carolina Ramirez (AU), 6-1, 6-3
3. Nathalie Koppelle (UA) vs. Isabel Rosenbrock (AU), 6-6, susp.
4. Millie Begovic (UA) def. Liz Sauerborn (AU), 6-3, 6-2
5. Sarah Suitor (AU) led Melissa Minor (UA), 6-3, 4-3 susp.
6. Nancy Peaden (AU) led Mari Muller (UA), 6-2, 3-3 susp.
Order of Finish: 4, 2, 1*
MATCH PHOTO GALLERY
The team gets warmed up.
Coach Mainz and Coach Swindoll watch Melissa Minor warm up.
Mari Muller warms up.
Millie Begovic gets loose.
The team huddles up in preparation for the match.
Robin Stephenson in action.
Coach Mainz (sitting) watches Robin Stephenson compete.
Coach Mainz and Coach Greenan confer after the doubles competition.
Robin Stephenson (far back) clinches the win for the Tide.
Coach Mainz talks to her team following their impressive win.