OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 19 nationally ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team won the doubles point and a key three-setter from senior Abby Guthrie at No. 5 singles to grab a 5-2 win over No. 32 ranked South Carolina here Friday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center/Galtney Courts.
On a beautiful day at the tennis center, the Rebels (11-6, 3-2) got things started off right by taking the top two spots in doubles for the early 1-0 lead. Gabby Rangel and Erin Stephens won 8-4 at No. 2 doubles. South Carolina took the No. 3 spot 8-5, before the senior duo of Kristi Boxx and Guthrie finished off an 8-5 win at No. 1 doubles to clinch the point. Boxx and Guthrie, ranked No. 5 nationally, improved to 14-1 at No. 1 doubles and 5-0 in the SEC.
South Carolina relies on strong singles play, and they got it on courts two and four to take a 2-1 lead. Jaklin Alawi handed sophomore Caroline Rohde-Moe a 6-1, 6-1 loss at No. 2 and then Katerina Popova beat Rebel freshman Julia Jones 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4.
Moments later, Stephens wrapped up a 6-4, 6-2 win against SC’s Dominika Kanakova at No. 3 singles to even the match at 2.
Sophomore Vivian Vlaar returned to the lineup after missing the last three matches with an injury and defeated Gamecock Josefin Andersson 6-3, 6-3 on court six to give the Rebels a 3-2 lead.
The final two matches both went three sets, with Guthrie providing the clinching point again at No. 5 singles. She defeated Adriana Pereira 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to close out the Gamecocks.
In a battle between the last two SEC Players of the Week, 12th-ranked Boxx held off Anya Morgina 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 to remain undefeated in the SEC at No. 1 singles. She is now 11-4 at the top spot.
Looking ahead, the Rebels will now catch an early flight to Gainesville Saturday in preparation for Sunday’s match at No. 2 and defending NCAA Champion, Florida. The Gators have won 102 consecutive home matches.
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