Tuesday, May 04, 2004
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama men’s and women’s tennis teams will learn their post-season fate on Wednesday, when ESPNews announces the 2004 NCAA team tournament field.
Both teams will gather with supporters throughout the community at Wings Sports Grille to watch the show, which is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. The women’s team, 28th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, will make its fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance under head coach Jenny Mainz. The Tide has reached the round of 32 in each of the past three seasons, only to lose in the second round.
The UA men’s squad, currently ranked 40th by the ITA, has likewise made the 64-team field in each of the past three seasons, boasting a berth in the Sweet 16 in Athens, Ga. last season. The Tide men lost first round matches in 2001 and 2002.
Both teams also have competitors who are in good position to make the field for individual championships, where 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams will be selected to compete. Individual selections will not be released until Thursday, however.
Robin Stephenson (Kitchener, Ontario) is ranked No. 28 in singles, and No. 21 in doubles with fellow sophomore Ashley Bentley (Montgomery, Ala.). Bentley, who is No. 69 in singles, could qualify for an alternate bid in singles competition.
Senior Stephen Mitchell (Capetown, South Africa) is ranked 42nd in the men’s rankings, making him eligible for a singles bid. Mitchell is ranked 48th in doubles with fellow senior Chris Gostek (Toronto, Ontario), which will likely put them just out of reach for a doubles bid.