OXFORD, Miss. – For the second match in a row, the OIe Miss women’s tennis team battled a top-20 team for over six hours. Unfortunately, the result was the same, as the Rebels suffered another 4-3 heartbreaker, this time to No. 17 Auburn.
On Friday against No. 5 Alabama, the Rebels built a 3-0 lead before the Tide rallied to take it 4-3. This time, the Rebels trailed 3-1, and then rallied to tie at 3, before Auburn’s Plamena Kurteva closed out junior Vief Vlaar at No. 6 singles 7-5, 6-3 to clinch the victory.
With the loss, the Rebels fell to 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the SEC, while Auburn improved to 12-1 and 2-0.
“I am really proud of the team, but it’s bittersweet,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Obviously you get nothing losing to the No. 5 team 4-3 and the No. 17 team 4-3. There are a lot of things we did well, but at the same time, it’s still two losses. We had some opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on. We had match point in the doubles. We’re up 4-3, 40-30 at No. 1 singles serving and didn’t get it. Vief came back from 5-3 down to 5-5 in the first set. We have to start making those opportunities go our way.”
The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker at three after Ole Miss held a match point. After the Rebels won 8-3 at No. 1, Auburn won 8-5 at No. 2. Julia Jones and Iris Verboven rallied from down 6-3 to tie it up at 6 against Jen Pfeifler and Paulina Schippers on court three. Auburn served for it at 7-6, but the Reb duo broke back and held serve to go up 8-7. Jones and Verboven had a match point on Schippers serve, but the Tigers won three straight points to force a tiebreak, which they won 7-2 to clinch the point.
Jones rebounded from a tough loss on Friday and tough doubles point to even the match with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 win over Auburn’s Emily Flickinger at No. 3 singles.
In a battle between two freshmen at No. 2 singles, Tiger Michala Kucharova defeated Rebel Mai El Kamash 6-2, 6-4 to give Auburn the 2-1 lead.
In match that proved to be a difference maker for Auburn, freshman Pleun Burgmans, ranked No. 70 in the nation, was able to close out a three-setter against junior Caroline Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 39, at No. 1 singles. Burgmans won the first set and was up a break early in the second, but Rohde-Moe broke back and eventually took a 5-2 lead. She would serve twice for it, but Burgmans kept it in play and tied it up 5-5. Rohde-Moe broke again and on her third attempt served it out to force a deciding set. Caroline got the early break in the third set, but Burgmans never went away. Rohde-Moe was up 4-3 serving and again Burgmans came up with the goods to even it up. She won the final two games to clinch a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory and give Auburn a 3-1 lead.
Sophomore Erin Stephens was battling the flu and did not play in Friday’s match or in the doubles against the Tigers. But, she gave it go in singles and gutted out a 6-3, 6-0 win against Auburn’s Jackie Kasler to put the Rebels within 3-2.
Freshman Marija Milutinovic won a huge second set tiebreaker to close out Auburn’s Pfeifler 6-2, 7-6(7) at No. 5 singles, setting up the final match at six.
The Rebels will be on the road the next two weekends beginning with Georgia and Tennessee next weekend.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewAug. 25-31, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss opened the 2014 season with a 35-13 win over Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.- The Rebels led 7-6 entering the fourth quarter... read more
The SEC Storied documentary "It's Time," centered on the the inspirational friendship between former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines and former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins, will premiere on Tuesday on the Vanderbilt campus and will debut on... read more
This is a new concept we've created for the Ole Miss Sports Blog that we're calling Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations... read more
The No. 18 Ole Miss football team won the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game defeating Boise State 35-13. The Rebels move into Southeastern Conference next week with a road test at Vanderbilt from Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The... read more
ATLANTA -- Boise State had been the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 40.2 points per game dating back to the 2000 season. Highlighted by four interceptions, eight tackles for loss and big hits by several different players, the... read more
ATLANTA -- After an up-and-down first half, which included a touchdown and three interceptions, senior quarterback Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss offense found their stride in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Leading 7-6 early in the... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss opens its 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Boise State from Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Contrast in Experience Boise State has one of the youngest teams in the country with 67 freshmen... read more
Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more
For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships. For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more
ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense. And... read more
After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more
Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more