Saturday, September 25, 2004
The University of Alabama women’s tennis team won 7 of 12 matches Saturday in the second day of action at the 19th Roberta Alison Fall Tennis Classic. The Crimson Tide won one championship Saturday and will aim for four more in Sunday’s championship round for singles.
Alabama’s doubles team of Ashley Bentley and Robin Stephenson, ranked sixth nationally, won their first title of the season Saturday morning when the duo took the flight “A” championship. Despite early match struggles, Bentley and Stephenson easily defeated Mississippi State’s No. 1 doubles team of Fodor and Rekasi 8-2. They never trailed in the match and in two days they won three matches while only dropping six sets.
Bentley and Stephenson each followed up their morning championship by trying to advance to Sunday’s singles finals. Bentley found herself in a tough match versus Auburn-Montgomery’s Khady Berthe. Bentley lost the first set 6-7 but fought back to win the next two sets and the match.
“Ashley has a winning a mentality,” said Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz. “She has the patience and understanding that it takes to fight back and win. Even when she isn’t playing at her best she still finds a way to put it all together and win.”
Stephenson also found herself in a battle with Mississippi State’s Zsuzsanna Fodor, who Stephenson defeated in doubles. This time Fodor prevailed to advance to the finals, 7-5, 6-3.
Sonja Nikolic and Melissa Minor also won their semifinal matches in straight sets to advance to Sunday’s championship round of singles. Two more Alabama players advanced to the championship round in flight “H”. Freshmen Hillary Barnes and Jessica Runge will showcase their talents against each other Sunday morning.