MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin tennis team will square off against some of the best collegiate players in the nation this weekend as the 30th annual Roberta Alison Fall Classic takes place on Oct. 27-28 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Skyhawks are one of 17 teams who were invited to play the tournament this weekend, joining host Alabama, Alabama State, Clemson, DePaul, Lewis, Memphis, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Samford, South Alabama, Texas, Troy, Tulane, UAB, USC and USF.
“Just to be asked to participate in this event says a lot about the history of our program,” UT Martin head coach Dennis Taylor said. “At first, I was reluctant to accept our invitation to such a strong tournament because this will be a rebuilding year for us. But this weekend will be a great opportunity for our young team to see tennis at the NCAA’s highest level. I think they will be inspired to work hard this winter to reach the level that they will be playing against this weekend.”
The Roberta Alison Fall Classic starts at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 27 with the first round of doubles. The first round of singles play follows while the second singles round starts later in the afternoon.
The second and third rounds of doubles begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. The third and final round of singles will take place during the afternoon.
A makeup day is set aside for Sunday, Oct. 29 in the event of inclement weather on Friday or Saturday.
This weekend’s tournament is held each year in honor of Roberta Alison, who was one of the most successful tennis players in Alabama history. Because there wasn’t a Crimson Tide women’s team, Alison played on the Alabama men’s team in the early 1960’s before winning the women’s collegiate singles championship in both 1962 and 1963. She was also one-half of the women’s collegiate doubles national championship duo in 1963.
This tournament is the fourth and final event on UT Martin’s fall schedule. The Skyhawks have found immense success in doubles this season, winning 11 of their 17 matches for a 64.7 percent success clip. Asel Jumamukhambetova and Jemima Potter have secured a team-high five victories while the freshman tandem of Mizuki Sakurai and Jule Streif are a perfect 3-0 this fall. Jumamukhambetova (five wins) and Olha Burak (four wins) have guided UT Martin in singles so far this season.