Thursday, May 02, 2002
The University of Alabama women’s tennis received an at-large bid to the 2002 NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and fourth time in team history on Thursday. The Crimson Tide will take on Ohio State in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Friday, May 10th at 10 a.m. EST.
Alabama finished the regular season with a 12-10 record and ranked 44th in the nation. Ohio State is ranked 37th and is 19-6 on the season. Ohio State’s Monica Rincon is ranked No. 68 in the singles rankings and Erica Fisk is No. 96. Rincon is also ranked 54th in doubles with Meaghan Colville.
No. 14 Tennessee is the regional host and will take on 74th ranked Marshall in the first round. The winners of the Tennessee/Marshall and Alabama/Ohio State matches will face each other on May 11th at 4 p.m. EST.
The winners of the sixteen regionals will advance to Palo Alto, California, where Stanford University will host the team championships.
Last year, Alabama defeated BYU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide then lost to regional host Duke in the second round.
“I am fired up and the team is fired up,” UA head coach Jenny Mainz said. “This is a reward for our season. The best part of the season is left. I feel fortunate that we have the opportunity to compete in postseason play.”
Alabama’s 56th ranked doubles tandem of Millie Begovic and Weyli Chang were one of thirty-two teams selected to compete for the NCAA Doubles Championship. Begovic and Chang are only the fourth doubles team to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championships in Alabama history and the first since 1995. Their first round match will be on May 20th in Palo Alto, California. The doubles draw will be selected on May 18th.
“I am very proud of Millie Begovic and Weyli Chang,” Mainz said. “I think they are very deserving of representing Alabama at the NCAA Doubles Championships. When they are on their game, they can compete with anyone in the country. I think they could surprise some people.”
Senior Jenny Ketchum was the winner of the 2002 Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship for the South Region. The criteria to win this award are: 1. A junior or senior enrolled for one full year prior to present term. 2. Player should have demonstrated extraordinary, commitment and unwavering dedication to her team; with exceptional hard work, courage, sportsmanship and a positive, cooperative attitude that makes people around her play better. 3. Scholastic, extracurricular achievements and playing accomplishments.
“Jenny (Ketchum) is tremendously deserving of this award,” Mainz said. “She is the epitome of the Cissie Leary Award. She has overcome extraordinary obstacles to play on this team. It is nice to see Jenny rewarded for her accomplishments and hard work.”