Sunday, October 16, 2005
ATHENS, GA. -- Alabama’s top doubles team of Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley had their run through the ITA Regional Championships ended Sunday in the semifinal round. The duo lost a hard-fought battle to Georgia’s Shadisha Robinson and Caroline Basu 8-5.
Stephenson and Bentley came close to taking a 5-4 advantage in the match, but couldn’t close out the game. Robinson and Basu, the top-ranked team in the country, then pulled away for the win.
Despite the loss, Alabama as a team turned in its best performance ever at the ITA Regionals. The Crimson Tide placed two doubles teams in the final eight, advancing one to the semifinals and Alabama players composed half of the semifinals in singles.
“This is our best performance as a team in a long time,” head coach Jenny Mainz said. “Robin (Stephenson) and Ashley (Bentley) have done a tremendous job of leading this team and making us a better program. They are taking us places we have never been.”
Mari Muller and Shelley Godwin also made a splash at the Championships. They advanced to the quarterfinals of doubles before being knocked out, but came up with possibly the upset of the tournament in the opening round when they defeated fourth-seeded Illona Sommers and Virginia Tomatis. In all, Alabama won 17 of 27 matches played on the weekend.
Alabama will now take a few weeks off of competition but will be back in action on November 3 at the SEC Coach’s Fall Classic. Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley will wait to see if they receive a berth into the ITA National Indoor Championships.
Shadisha Robinson/Caroline Basu (UGA) d. Robin Stephenson/Ashley Bentley (UA), 8-5