GAINESVILLE, Fla. The Alabama women’s tennis team powered by Mississippi State, 4-0, Thursday in the opening round of the SEC Women’s Tennis Championships. Alabama advances to play No. 3-seed Kentucky Friday at 1 p.m. CT.
“We came out and played deliberate today,” Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz said. “I thought we played well and now we need to get ready to play Kentucky tomorrow.”
Alabama faced a Mississippi State team that was a little short-handed. Because the Bulldogs have just five players on roster, Alabama picked up default wins at both No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. The Tide won every other match played on the day without losing a single set.
Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley clinched the doubles point for Bama with an 8-2 win over Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers at No. 1 doubles. The match took just 51 minutes to play.
In singles, the Tide was just as strong. Stephenson and Mari Muller cruised to straight-set wins to clinch the match and advance the Tide into Friday’s quarterfinals. Alabama led on courts 2, 4 and 5 before they were stopped.
Friday the Tide will get a shot at Kentucky, a team Bama beat earlier in the season. A win would give Alabama two victories in the SEC Tournament for the first time since dual-match play was re-instated in 1990.
Fans can follow all the action at www.rolltide.com.
Alabama 4, Miss. State 0
Thursday, April 20, 2006
SEC First Round
Robin Stephenson (UA) def. Renee Joseph (MSU), 6-2, 6-3
Ashley Bentley (UA) vs. Martina Banikova (MSU), 6-3, 2-0, unfinished
Mari Muller (UA) def. Daniela Juskova (MSU), 6-1, 6-1
Natalie McElveen (UA) vs. Elna de Villiers (MSU), 6-3, unfinished
Shelley Godwin (UA) vs. Tatiana Feit (MSU), 6-2, 4-2, unfinished
Sofia Ayala (UA) won by default
Bentley/Stephenson (UA) def. Banikova/de Villiers (MSU), 8-2
Brenes/Muller (UA) vs. Joseph/Juskova (MSU), unfinished
Day/Godwin (UA) won by default