Rebels Knock Off No. 13 Vanderbilt 5-2

Vief Vlaar

March 17, 2013


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Ole Miss men’s basketball team wasn’t the only winner in Music City on Sunday, as the Ole Miss women’s tennis team knocked off No. 13 Vanderbilt 5-2 at the Currey Tennis Center to finish the weekend 2-0.

With the win, the Rebels improved to 4-8 overall and 2-4 in the SEC after their win over No. 38 Kentucky Friday in Lexington.   They will return home for three matches beginning next weekend with LSU and Arkansas.

The Rebels dropped the doubles point and the No. 5 singles match to trail 2-0, but won the final five matches in straight sets for their first top-20 win of the season.  They have now won three in a row and four of the last five against Vanderbilt.

“This was a great road win against No. 13 Vanderbilt,” head coach Mark Beyers said.  “Great team effort to cap off a road sweep.  I was very impressed with our ability to come back in singles after losing a tough doubles point.  Hopefully we can carry this momentum over to the next matches.  We are excited to be back at home for a couple of weekends!”

Vanderbilt won 8-5 at No. 1 and 3 doubles to take the 1-0 lead, and then Ashleigh Antal downed Rebel freshman Marija Milutinovic 6-1, 6-0 at No. 5 singles. That would be it for the Commodores on the day, as the Rebels won the first sets on the other five courts on their way to sweeping them.

Erin Stephens defeated 74th-ranked Georgina Sellyn 7-5, 6-0 at No. 4 singles to move to 4-1 in the SEC.  Junior Caroline Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 39 in the nation, followed up with a 6-3, 6-0 win against 49th-ranked Lauren Mira at the top spot to even the match at 2.

Sophomore Julia Jones won her second match at No. 2 singles this weekend, downing Marie Casares 6-4, 6-1 to put the Rebels ahead 3-2 and improve to 5-2 in the SEC.   Moments later Vief Vlaar clinched it, as she finished off Frances Altick 6-2, 6-4 on court six.

“I think we’ve known all year that we are capable of having much better results, we just got off to an unlucky start,” Jones said.  “We came together this weekend and played with a lot of confidence. We were more energetic than we’ve ever been.  That was the difference.”

Vlaar, who has battled to get back to top form after a third wrist surgery in the fall, was fired up to talk about the win.

“This week we have been talking a lot about how we can beat the teams we are playing if we come together stronger as a team,” she said.  “After Kentucky we talked about needing to come out firing on all cylinders today. Even though we lost the doubles point, we came out firing at all spots in singles and supporting each other.  It was a great team effort and we can use this to build in practice and for our upcoming home matches.”

Freshman Mai El Kamash, ranked No. 66 in the nation, put the final stamp on the Rebel victory, defeating Courtney Colton 6-4, 7-5.

The Rebels return home to host LSU Friday at 3 p.m.  Fans will enjoy free hot dogs between doubles and singles.  

Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissWTennis and on Facebook at OleMissWTennis.

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