OXFORD, Miss. -- It was a cool windy day for the first match at the newly renovated Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center Friday, but the No. 24 ranked Ole Miss women's tennis team handled the conditions just fine, sweeping Southern Miss 7-0.
With the win, the Rebels improved to 6-4 on the season and will welcome No. 19 Tulsa on Sunday at Noon. Fans will enjoy free pizza.
“This was a good match for us. Obviously it was tough conditions, with the wind blowing 20-25 mph. It’s hard to come out here and play your best tennis,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “In conditions like this, you have to battle the elements the best you can and we did that. We did a lot of good things, but also saw some things we can work on. Overall, it’s always good to get a 7-0 win no matter who you’re playing.”
In singles, the Rebels won all six matches in straight sets. Guthrie was first off the court, downing USM’s Moorea Williams 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4.
This week’s SEC Freshman of the Week, Stephens finished off Golden Eagle Alexus Coats 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2, and then Jones clinched it with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 against USM’s Mackenzie Oskin.
Seconds later, Rohde-Moe, playing her first ever match at No. 1 singles, handed Southern Miss’ Kate Lanier a 6-1, 6-1 loss. Afterwards, she talked about playing at the top spot.
“It was a lot of fun playing No. 1 for the first time,” said the Norwegian. The conditions were difficult, but we made it through the match and we learned a lot for the next match. Hopefully it won’t be as windy.”
Sophomore Vivian Vlaar wrapped up a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles and Verboven completed the shutout 6-0, 6-2 at No. 6.
Playing for the first time at the tennis center since it underwent a major renovation and expansion was exciting for the coaches and players.
“It’s awesome. I can’t wait for everything to be ready. It’s been a long time waiting, and to see it finally coming together is exciting. We can’t wait for more fans to come out and see this, because it’s one of the premier places in college tennis,” Beyers said.
The Rebels would definitely like more fans to come see the place as well as cheer on the team, because Sunday’s match against No. 19 Tulsa will be a much tougher test.
“We are hoping that the conditions will be better on Sunday, but regardless, we’ll have to play better. Hopefully the schedule we’ve played so far this season has prepared us for a match like we’ll have against Tulsa. We’re looking forward to the challenge and we want to encourage all the fans to come out and enjoy free pizza and great tennis, Beyers said.”
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