TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 35 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 34 Oklahoma in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend here Saturday at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility. With the loss, the Rebels (1-1) will face William & Mary in the consolation match Sunday at 10 a.m.
The Sooners jumped on the Rebels early in doubles, winning the No. 1 match 6-0. After Julia Jones and Zalina Khairudinova won 6-2 at No. 3 doubles, all eyes turned to court two, where the match ended in a tiebreaker. The Sooner pair of Emma Devine and Morgan Chumney forced a tiebreaker to defeat Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven, 7-6(5), and clinch the doubles point for Oklahoma.
Stephens was first off the court in singles, losing to Devine 6-1, 6-3 at No. 5 as the Sooners went ahead 2-0.
The Rebels won three first sets, but in one of those, they weren’t able to win the match and two of them didn’t finish. Khairudinova won the first set against Chumney 6-3, but the Sooner came back to win the second set 7-5 and force a superbreaker for the third set, which she won 10-6 to give Oklahoma 3-0 lead.
The match ended when Sooner Whitney Ritchie finished off a 6-0, 7-5 win against 90th-ranked Jones at No. 2 singles.
“This was a disappointing loss today,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Oklahoma is a good team and when we are unable to win close sets, tiebreakers and supertiebreakers, we are not going to win a match like this. We have to regroup and be ready to battle William & Mary tomorrow.
The Rebels will look to avenge a 4-3 loss to William & Mary last year in the first dual match of the year.
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