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.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Dec. 15-21, 2014 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss overcame a 17-point deficit to knock off Coastal Carolina 71-68 Thursday night. - Senior LaDarius White scored a career-high 26 points including a career-best 6 3-pointers... read more
The students were off for the first week of winter break, but Observations from the Best Seat in the House presses on, as the football team moves closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the men's and women's basketball teams... read more
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games. Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more