OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 24 nationally ranked Ole Miss women's tennis team won the doubles point and four of the six singles matches on their way to a 5-2 win against No. 19 Tulsa here Sunday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center/Galtney Courts.
The Rebels (7-4) have now won three straight as they get set to open Southeastern Conference play next weekend. It also marked the team's second Top 25 win of the season.
The doubles point is just one point in the match, but it can make all the difference. The Rebels came out firing to start the match. Tulsa made a run, but the held on to win at the top two spots for a 1-0 lead. Gabby Rangel and Erin Stephens won 8-5 at No. 2 to improve to 7-3. The senior duo of Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie raced out to a 5-0 lead before Tulsa carved into it a bit. The Rebels went on to win it 8-5 to clinch the point and improve to 8-1 there.
In singles, the Rebels won four of the first sets. Sophomore Vivian Vlaar downed Tulsa's Maria Sant'Anna 6-1, 6-3 to make it 2-0.
In big matches against Top 25 teams, it usually comes down to a key point or a key set. The Rebels picked up two huge second sets which carried them to victory. One of those came at No. 4 singles, where freshman Julia Jones closed out TU's Isaura Enrique in a second set tiebreaker to increase the lead to 3-0. After winning the first set 6-2, Jones led 5-2, but Enrique came back to force a tiebreaker, which Jones dominated 7-2.
Tulsa got on the board when Samantha Vickers, ranked No. 68 in the nation, defeated sophomore Caroline Rohde-Moe 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.
Moments later, 20th-ranked Boxx finished off Tulsa's 71st-ranked Anastasia Erofeeva 7-5, 6-4 to give the Rebels the win.
"We started off really well and gained the momentum fast. It was nice to start off 1-0," Boxx said. "In singles, everybody fought hard. None of the matches were easy. I was really frustrated I didn't play my best, but I tried to stay in it and stay positive. That worked in my favor. We're excited to get a win against a team ranked higher than us."
"They're a tough team," said head coach Mark Beyers, speaking of the Golden Hurricane. We started off really well in doubles and played with a lot of energy. They came back and challenged us, but we hung on and won the point. We won some close sets in singles. Kristi's second set was crucial, and obviously the second set with Julia was crucial. All of a sudden the momentum swings our way. In the end, that determined the outcome."
The remaining two matches split, as Tulsa rallied to win court three 6-4 in the third, and Ole Miss came back to take the match on court five 7-6(3) in the third.
The Rebels will now turn their attention to SEC play. They travel to Auburn and No. 20 Alabama next weekend.
Stay up to date on the Rebels through twitter at @OleMissWTennis and on facebook at www.facebook.com/OleMissWTennis.
The return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and additions of sophomore Fadol Brown and freshman Marquis Haynes have changed the face of the defensive line, but freshman All-American Robert Nkemdiche remains front and center. With a season of experience... read more
The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more
We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that junior cornerback Carlos Davis suffered a torn ACL and will likely have surgery Monday. Davis joins sophomore cornerback Tee Shepard and junior safety Chief Brown on the list of players expected to miss... read more
The launch of the SEC Network shows the growth and vision of the 14 schools in the conference. #OleMiss-- Coach Alex (@apsimms2) August 15, 2014 That was fun! And the @SECNetwork is only getting started. #SECStoried finished strong. Great... read more
Tonight is the night!! #SECNetworkLaunch pic.twitter.com/73UYs8B0Hg-- SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 14, 2014 Historic day for SEC & #OleMiss as we celebrate the launch of the @SECNetwork at 5pm CST! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August... read more
The center and right tackle position battles have been two of the biggest story lines of fall camp, but as the Rebels prepped for their second preseason scrimmage Wednesday night, they are closer to solidifying the depth chart along the... read more
"Buy-in" is a common term thrown around by coaches. How will first-year Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts measure buy-in, as the team continues its preseason work for the upcoming season? Attitude and effort. "If we bring those two... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team wrapped up its Bahamian exhibition tour with a perfect 2-0 record. Head coach Andy Kennedy recapped the trip, talked about the chemistry, depth and experience of a new-look roster heading into the fall. The... read more
Sophomore defensive end Fadol Brown and sophomore cornerback Kailo Moore returned from their respective injuries, while sophomore Tee Shepard remains out with a toe injury. The results from Shepard's MRI performed on Saturday are being sent to Birmingham, head coach... read more
The SEC Network will debut on Thursday, August 14 with a three-hour SEC Now that will visit every SEC school and the 21 sports within the SEC. The first two weeks of the network will also feature customized programming to... read more
Ole Miss continues its preparations for the the 2014 season with the second full week of fall camp starting Monday. Here's a look back at the first full week of fall camp with some observations and takeaways, as well as... read more