OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss women’s tennis senior Kristi Boxx beat the No. 11 ranked player in singles, but the No. 25 Rebels came up short in their second straight top-10 match, dropping a 5-2 decision to No. 6 Georgia here Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center.
The match started outside, but had to be moved indoors just after 4 o’clock when it started to rain. At that point, Georgia held a 2-1 lead after taking a close doubles point and the two teams splitting the top two courts.
The Rebels had chances to win the doubles point winning the match at No. 1 8-6 with Boxx and fellow senior Abby Guthrie improving to 12-1 there. The Rebel duo of Julia Jones and Caroline Rohde-Moe were up a break at No. 3 against Georgia’s Maho Kowase and Lilly Kimbell. But the Bulldog duo rallied to win it 8-6. On court two, Gabby Rangel and Erin Stephens were looking for their second straight top-10 win in doubles facing the No. 6 ranked Bulldog tandem of Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist. Georgia was able to get the break they needed to win it 8-6 to clinch the point.
Boxx, ranked No. 22 nationally, made it 1-1 when she finished off Gullickson, ranked No. 11, 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. The Grenada, Miss., native improved to 19-7 overall and 9-4 at No. 1 singles.
Georgia regained the lead when freshman Lauren Herring defeated Rohde-Moe 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
Shortly thereafter, play was stopped and ultimately moved indoors where Guthrie made it 2-2 with her 6-4, 6-4 win over UGA’s Kimbell at No. 5 singles.
It was short-lived, as the Bulldogs went ahead for good with a straight set win at No. 4 singles by Kowase, 7-5, 7-5 against Jones. The loss snapped a six-match win streak for Jones and marked her first SEC defeat.
In a back-and-forth battle at No. 3 singles, Georgia senior Gilchrist held off Rebel freshman Stephens in a three-set affair to clinch the victory. Stephens rallied from 6-2 down in the first set tiebreaker to win it 7-6(6). Gilchrist took the second set 6-2 and gained a break at 4-3 in the third to win it 6-3 to clinch.
Freshman Iris Verboven, playing in just her third singles dual match of the season, fell in three sets to Georgia freshman Kate Fuller for the final point.
The Rebels will head to Miami, Fla., this week to face Florida International Tuesday at Noon and No. 18 Yale Thursday at 10 a.m. CT.
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