OXFORD, Miss. – If just a few points here and there go the way of the Rebels, then perhaps it’s a slightly different story at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center for the No. 29 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team here Saturday against No. 16 Virginia. But the Cavaliers showed why they were ranked top 10 at the beginning of the year, making the most of their opportunities on the way to a 6-1 win.
Early on it looked like the doubles point might go down to the wire, with every match close. However, Virginia, with the No. 5 and 17 ranked teams, was able to gain some breaks and hold on to win 8-4 at one and three and 8-6 at two.
Sophomore Julia Jones downed 92nd-ranked Li Xi at No. 3 singles 6-2, 6-2, but the Cavaliers picked up straight set wins on courts, four, two and five in that order to end the matter. With her win, Jones improved to 13-9 overall and 4-0 at No. 3.
The remaining two matches went three sets, including a battle between No. 27 ranked Caroline Rohde-Moe and No. 11 Julia Elbaba. The two split sets with Elbaba taking the first one 6-1 and Rohde-Moe grabbing the second 6-0. Elbaba broke to serve for it at 5-3, but Rohde-Moe broke back. Unfortunately, Elbaba broke again to win it 6-4.
The Rebels will now turn their attention to the start of Southeastern Conference play with two big matches against Western Division rivals Alabama and Auburn next weekend. First up is the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide Friday, March 1 at 3 p.m. Fans will enjoy free pizza between doubles and singles.
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