Bama Men's & Women's Tennis Teams Receive NCAA Bids


Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Ashley Bentley
Ashley Bentley

» Men's NCAA Tournament Bracket Adobe Acrobat Icon
» Women's NCAA Tournament Bracket Adobe Acrobat Icon

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men’s and women’s tennis teams heard the news they were expecting Wednesday, as both team were selected to participate in the 2004 NCAA team tournament.

The 28th-ranked women’s team will travel to Athens, Ga. to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Friday, May 14.  The Crimson Tide is the No. 2 seed in the four-team region while Georgia Tech is the No. 3 seed.  No. 1 seed Georgia will face Samford in the other region match.  It is the fourth straight tournament appearance for the women and sixth selection all-time. 

The men received a bid to face 2nd-seeded Texas A&M in Richmond, Virginia.  That match will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 14.  Virginia Commonwealth is the host school and will face Richmond in the opening round.  The men are also participating in their fourth straight NCAA tourney, and 11th all time.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to extend our season,” men’s head coach Billy Pate said.  “Texas A&M is extremely talented and well-coached.  They are a very deep team as well and we will face a great challenge.”

The Georgia Tech women, ranked No. 40 in the latest ITA rankings, lost to No. 15 North Carolina 4-1 in the opening round of the ACC Tournament on April 16.  The Yellow Jackets finished 11-10 and 4-4 in the conference. 

“This is a great opportunity for us,” women’s head coach Jenny Mainz said.  “It will be a challenging match, but this is where we want to be.  We’ve played a tough season to get here and we are not content in just showing up.”

The NCAA tournament field is made up of 64 teams, with 16 regional sites around the country.  The top 16 teams are seeded, and the remaining 48 are seeded within the region.  The 16 region winners advance to the NCAA Championship site, Athens, Ga. for the women and Tulsa, Okla. for the men.

Alabama is 7-2 all-time against Georgia Tech with the Tide winning the last meeting in 1999, 5-4.  Alabama Head Coach Jenny Mainz is 1-1 against the Jackets.

Participants for the NCAA singles and doubles individual championship field will be announced Thursday afternoon.  Robin Stephenson is in position to make the singles draw as well as the doubles field with Ashley Bentley, while Stephen Mitchell is hoping for a singles berth in the men’s field.