The Wildcats defeated third-seeded Georgia by a score of 4-1 Friday. In Saturday's other semifinal, top-seeded Florida, a 4-0 winner over ninth-seeded Ole Miss, will take on fifth-seeded LSU, which took a 4-3 marathon from fourth-seeded Tennessee, at 10 a.m. CT.
"What an incredible day of SEC tennis," VU Head Coach Geoff Macdonald said. "There were four incredible quarterfinal matches -- 11-and-a-half straight hours of tough play. I'm really proud of the team to beat a very solid Alabama team. I commend Alabama -- they competed very well and played a really tough match. We're looking forward to tomorrow's match against Kentucky, and hope that all day there is a good crowd out watching SEC women's tennis."
The Commodores used their doubles' prowess to take an early 1-0 lead over the Crimson Tide. Juniors Audra Falk and Annie Menees defeated Millie Begovic and Melissa Minor at second doubles, 8-2, to give VU the early edge. Seniors Kelly Schmandt and Aleke Tsoubanos then clinched the doubles point with another 8-2 win Robin Stephenson and Ashley Bentley at first doubles.
In singles action, Bentley avenged the doubles loss and a 7-5, 7-5 singles defeat in March, beating Schmandt at second singles, 6-1, 6-2, to even the match at 1-1. The Dores retook the lead when Tsoubanos won at third singles, defeating Nathalie Koppelle, 6-0, 6-3, only to see the Tide again even things up with a win at first singles as Stephenson defeated Falk, 7-5, 6-4.
Vanderbilt's tremendous depth took over on the lower courts. Sophomore Ashley Schellhas gave VU a 3-2 lead with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Minor at fifth singles before freshman Amanda Fish clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Begovic. Menees was up a set in her match at sixth singles when play was suspended.
The Commodores (21-2) took a 5-2 decision from Kentucky last Saturday in Nashville, and have not lost a match at the Currey Tennis Center since March of 2002.
#2 Vanderbilt def. #7 Alabama, 4-2 Doubles 1. Tsoubanos/Schmandt (VU) def. Stephenson/Bentley (UA), 8-2 2. Falk/Menees (VU) def. Begovic/Minor (UA) 8-2 3. Schellhas/Fish (VU) vs. Koppelle/Muller (UA) 6-2 susp. Order of finish: 2, 1* Singles 1. Robin Stephenson (UA) def. Audra Falk (VU), 7-5, 6-4 2. Ashley Bentley (UA) def. Kelly Schmandt (VU), 6-1, 6-2 3. Aleke Tsoubanos (VU) def. Nathalie Koppelle (UA) 6-0, 6-3 4. Amanda Fish (VU) def. Millie Begovic (UA), 7-5, 6-1 5. Ashley Schellhas (VU) def. Melissa Minor (UA), 6-3, 6-2 6. Annie Meenes (VU) vs. Mari Muller (UA), 6-3, 1-2 susp. Order of finish: 2, 3, 1, 5, 4*