AUBURN, Ala. – The Ole Miss women’s tennis team fell to No. 23 Auburn 5-2 in their Southeastern Conference opener Friday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Rebels (5-2, 0-1) travel to Alabama Sunday for a 1 p.m. match to conclude the opening weekend of conference play.
It was the Rebels first loss at Auburn since 2008. Auburn came away with the doubles point and then gained singles victories at one, two, five and six.
The doubles point came down to a tiebreak at one. After Auburn won the No.2 match 8-1, junior Julia Jones and freshman Zalina Khairudinova finished off an 8-5 win at No. 3 to improve to 8-1 overall, 6-1 in dual matches. The point came down to No. 1 where the Auburn duo of Pleun Bergmans and Emily Flickinger rallied to beat Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven 8-7, 10-8 in the breaker. Verboven and Stephens were up 5-2 in the tiebreak.
The Rebels evened the match at 1-1 for a short time as Jones downed Auburn's Paula de Man 6-1, 6-4 on court three. She is now 16-5 overall and 5-1 in dual matches.
Khairudinova dropped a tight first set 7-5 to Bergmans, and then lost the second 6-1 as Auburn regained the lead for good.
Caroline Rohde-Moe fell to Flickinger 6-1, 7-6(3) on court two and then Auburn clinched it when Reka Muller rallied to beat Stephens at No. 5 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.
The Rebels’ other win came at No. 6 singles, where Marija Milutinovic defeated Jackie Kasler 7-5, 6-4.
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