OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 19 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team battled back from dropping the doubles point against No. 28 Yale to take a 2-1 lead, before Yale went on to three straight matches for a 4-2 win here Sunday in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
With the loss, the Rebels fall to 0-2 on the young season and will face No. 27 ranked Illinois in the consolation Monday at 8 a.m., at the Gillom Sports Center. Yale advanced to the championship match against Vanderbilt at 1 p.m.
“The toughest part about it is we’ve had two tough ones in a row, where the match could have gone either way. Unfortunately, these last two didn’t go our way, and that’s frustrating,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “We feel like with a couple little changes, it can go our way. On the other hand, it hurts more, because it’s so disappointing. We have to make sure that we continue to believe in each other and that we don’t lose faith. I think everyone that sees the matches, knows we have the talent and ability. I don’t believe we’ve played up to our potential.”
The doubles point came down to the No. 3 match where Yale’s Blair Seideman and Elizabeth Epstein defeated Mai El Kamash and Julia Jones 8-6 to give the Bulldogs the early 1-0 lead.
In singles, Yale won the first on three courts, while the Rebels took the first set on in the two matches they won. Jones was first off the court, downing 31st-ranked Seideman 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 singles, and then 30th-ranked Rohde-Moe finished off Madeleine Hamilton 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to put Ole Miss ahead 2-1.
El Kamash served for the first set in her match to Yale’s 42nd-ranked Epstein, but the Bulldog took it to a tiebreaker and won 7-6(5). The Rebel freshman rallied to win the second set in a tiebreaker 7-6(5), but Epstein pushed through in the third 6-2 to even the match score at 2.
“We had so many momentum changes. We had set points in the first, and then the other girl was up 5-3 [in the second] and we win the second,” Beyers said. “It was a great battle. I have to give a lot of credit to Yale, they’re well-coached and a very good team from top to bottom.”
The Bulldogs collected straight set wins at four and five singles to finish off the Rebels. Sophomore Erin Stephens lost two tough sets to Hanna Yu 6-4, 6-4, and freshman Marija Milutinovic dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Annie Sullivan at five.
#28 Yale 4, #19 Ole Miss 2
Doubles 1. Madeleine Hamilton/Annie Sullivan (YALE) def. Erin Stephens/Iris Verboven (OM) 8-4 2. Caroline Rohde-Moe/Marija Milutinovic (OM) def. Hanna Yu/Amber Li (YALE) 8-5 3. Blair Seideman/Elizabeth Epstein (YALE) def. Mai El Kamash/Julia Jones (OM) 8-6 Singles 1. #30 Caroline Rohde-Moe (OM) def. #90 Madeleine Hamilton (YALE) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 2. #42 Elizabeth Epstein (YALE) def. Mai El Kamash (OM) 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (5-6), 6-2 3. Julia Jones (OM) def. #31 Blair Seideman (YALE) 6-2, 6-3 4. Hanna Yu (YALE) def. Erin Stephens (OM) 6-4, 6-4 5. Annie Sullivan (YALE) def. Marija Milutinovic (OM) 6-3, 6-2 6. Santa Shumilina (OM) vs. Amber Li (YALE) 1-2, unfinished
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