OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 38 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team and No. 11 Vanderbilt battled for more nearly four hours with the Commodores coming away with a 4-3 victory here Friday night at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
With the loss, the Rebels fell to 7-5 overall 1-4 in the SEC, while Vanderbilt improved to 11-4 overall and 4-1 in league play. The Rebels will host No. 24 Kentucky Sunday at Noon. Fans will receive free Rebel Buttons and enjoy free ice cream sundaes after doubles.
Vanderbilt gained the early lead, picking up an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles followed by an 8-5 victory at No. 2 to clinch the first point of the match.
The Rebels answered, winning in straight sets at No. 6 with Erin Stephens topping Lauren Mira 6-4, 6-2 to tie the match 1-1.
The Commodores regained the lead 2-1 when Marie Casares defeated Iris Verboven 6-4, 6-2 at No. 5 singles.
Three of the singles matches went three sets, and in one of those, freshman Zalina Khairudinova rallied to beat 63rd-ranked Georgina Sellyn 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 singles to square the match again. It marked her third ranked win in the last four matches.
Caroline Rohde-Moe served for the first set in her match against Sydney Campbell, but the Commodore broke on her way to winning the set 7-5. Rohde-Moe took the second set 6-4, but Campbell broke early in the third and won 6-1 to give Vanderbilt the 3-2 lead.
Seconds later, Frances Altick broke Julia Jones at No. 3 singles to finish off a 7-6(2), 6-4 win and clinch the victory for the Commodores.
“It was a great college tennis match,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “I thought we played really well. We knew coming in that Vanderbilt is a great team at No. 11. And that was without the kid at No. 2 (Campbell), who had not played for them yet. If we can play at this level every time, we are going to get to four points a bunch of times. Today we only got to three, but I am proud of the girls for how they battled. ”
Mai El Kamash secured the final point for the Rebels, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 against Courtney Colton at No. 4 singles.
Kentucky rallied to beat Mississippi State 4-3 in Starkville Friday to improve to 14-3 overall and 4-1 in the SEC. The Rebels will be going for their sixth straight against the Wildcats.
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