LUBBOCK, Texas – Playing its first indoor match of the season, the No. 18 nationally ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a tough 4-3 decision to No. 42 Texas Tech here Saturday night at the Lubbock Country Club.
The Rebels led 3-1 in the match, but Texas Tech would win the final three points at four, five and six singles to secure the upset. The match came down to No. 6 singles, where Lady Raider Nikki Sanders defeated Rebel freshman Julia Jones 6-1, 6-1.
“It was a very disappointing performance by us in the middle and bottom of the lineup,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Texas Tech deserved to win at those positions; they played better than we did. It shows again how much parity there is in college tennis.”
Ole Miss built the lead first by taking the doubles point with a pair of 8-6 wins at the top two spots. The No. 4 ranked senior duo of Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie improved to 5-0 at No. 1 with their win over Texas Tech’s Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo. Senior Gabby Rangel and freshman Erin Stephens moved to 4-1 at No. 2 with their win over the Lady Raider duo of Sanders and Caroline Starck.
Boxx, ranked No. 12 in the nation, wasted little time putting the Rebels up 2-0 as she downed Adams 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles to improve to 14-4 overall and 4-1 at the top spot.
The Lady Raiders got their first point when Starck defeated Stephens 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 singles. Ole Miss’ Caroline Rohde-Moe increased the lead to 3-1 holding off TT’s Elizabeth Ullathorne 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 at No. 2 singles. Rohde-Moe remains undefeated at No. 2 with a 5-0 record.
Shortly after that, Texas Tech pulled to within 3-2 as Guthrie dropped her match to Rashmi Teltumbde 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4. The Lady Raiders tied it up when Kenna Kilgo beat the SEC Player of the Week, Vivian Vlaar, 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5 singles, setting up the final outcome at six.
The Rebels head to Charlottesville, Va., next week for the ITA National Indoor. They will face the No. 1 seed, Duke, in the first round Friday at 8 a.m. CT.
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