The Albany State University Lady Rams captured their first-ever Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tennis Championship Title during the 2010 SIAC Tennis Championships, held April 15-17 at the McGhee Tennis Center at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. The Lady Rams, seeded second in the tournament, upset the undefeated #1 Tuskegee University Tigerettes, 5-1, to claim the title. Albany State won the #2 doubles and #2 singles competitions and three matches by forfeit.
To advance to the title match, the Lady Rams defeated LeMoyne-Owen College in the opening round. In the second round, Albany State beat Benedict College, who earned third place honors.
Third-year head coach Khadijah Ali, who was named the Most Outstanding Tournament Coach, said her Lady Rams decided at their team meeting in Atlanta that they would win the championship trophy.
“I told the girls that we were going back to Albany State with a trophy and that its was up to them which trophy they would bring back,” Ali said. “They all agreed that they were bringing home the first place trophy and that’s exactly what they did. The rest is history.”
Carolina Ribeiro was named to the SIAC’s All-Conference First Team (Singles) and All-Tournament Singles Team. Ribeiro and Brittany White picked up All-Tournament Doubles Team and All-SIAC Second Team (Doubles) honors. Dominique Lambert and Crystal LeGrand were named to the All-SIAC First Team (Doubles).
“I have never been more proud of my team for their accomplishments this season. I am very thankful,” Ali said. “It took a lot of heart, a lot of courage, a lot of hard work and a lot of prayers, but we did it!”
The Lady Rams are now ready to ‘sport’ new SIAC championship rings and are making plans to kick off a fund-raiser to purchase the rings. Persons interested in contributing to the Lady Rams SIAC Ring Project by May 28, may contact Ali at Khadijah.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 347-1038.
The Lady Rams, who end the season with a 15-7 overall record, will represent Albany State and the SIAC in the 2010 NCAA Division II Tennis Regional Tournament on May 6-8. National championship finals are May 12-15 in Altamonte Springs, Fla.