Rain Cuts Lady Tigers' Stay in Alabama Short
Sept. 26, 2010
Tuscaloosa, Ala.--The Lady Tigers packed up their bags and headed home early from the 23rd Roberta Alison Fall Classic due to inclement weather. The tournament, hosted by the University of Alabama, concluded on Saturday because of anticipated rain.
Sophomore Courtney Collins opened up strong with a big, 6-2, 6-3, win over Alabama freshman Alex Clay, who sits at No. 118 in the Campbell/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Preseason Rankings.
"Not many freshmen get put in the national rankings," Head Coach Lee Taylor Walker said. "Courtney played great and that win was great for her confidence."
In her second match of the tournament, Collins took down Megan Brock from the University of Kentucky, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, sending her into the main draw finals. However, Collins and Coach Walker ultimately decided to default the final match.
"She hated that she didn't get to play," Coach Walker said. "But, it was for health reasons with the heat and not just her giving up." Minor injury also plagued freshman Sarah Witkowski's tournament. Witkowski attempted to play with sophomore Kelly Gray on Friday, but the pair retired at 4-1 to Ivon Simic and Johanie Van Zyl from UT-Martin, and Witkowski withdrew from her singles matches.
"She hurt her back while she was warming up on Friday," Coach Walker said. "She tried to play doubles but couldn't really move."
The other Memphis doubles tandem, Collins and freshman Stefanie Mikesz, took down Taylor Morgan and Lindsey Mallory of Samford 8-6, and then fell to Megan Broderick and Khristina Blajkevitch of Kentucky by the same score.
In singles, both Mikesz and sophomore Kelly Gray started off the tournament slow, but rebounded to obtain wins for the U of M before the conclusion of play.
Jessica Styles of Kentucky handed Mikesz a loss on Friday, 6-0, 6-1, and on Satuday, Mikesz fought hard against UAB's Giorgia Romeo, but ultimately fell 7-6(4), 2-6, and 1-0(8) in the super tiebreaker. Mikesz's victory came in her last match against when she upended Jodie Tiley of UT-Martin, 6-1, 6-1.
Gray dropped her first match on Friday, 6-3, 6-0, to Alabama's Meritt Emery. Gray rallied in her next match to take down Vivian Pietraroria of Mississippi State, 7-6(2), 6-2. Gray was unable to get any kind of win streak going as she fell to Samford's Kristin Lewis, 6-3, 7-6(2).
Up next for Collins and Mikesz are the All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., from Oct. 2-10. This is the first time in program history any Lady Tigers have received a bid to compete in the fall championships.