Rebels Drop Another Heartbreaker

Mai El Kamash

March 24, 2013


OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s tennis team dropped another 4-3 heartbreaker Sunday afternoon, this time to Arkansas, at the Gillom Sports Center.  

The Rebels (5-9, 3-5 SEC) held a 3-2 lead against Arkansas in the match, which lasted nearly 6 ½ hours, but the Razorbacks rallied, winning the final two matches at five and six to come away with the victory.

After sophomore Erin Stephens won in three sets at No. 4 singles to give the Rebels the lead, Arkansas’ Brittany Huxley finished off Marija Milutinovic 6-2 in the third at five to even the overall match.  

All eyes then turned to the final match at No. 6 singles, where Razorback Ana Belmar Hernandez was up a set, but Rebel junior Vief Vlaar appeared to be closing in on the second set.  Vlaar served for it twice at 5-2 and then again at 5-4, but Belmar Hernandez won four straight games to take a 6-5 lead.  Needing to hold serve to force a tiebreaker, Vlaar did, but Belmar Hernandez took it for a 6-2, 7-6(2) win to give her team the 4-3 victory.

The match began with Ole Miss taking the doubles point.   Caroline Rohde-Moe and Milutinovic won 8-4 at No. 1, and then Stephens teamed up with Iris Verboven for a 9-7 win at No. 2 doubles to clinch the point.

Freshman Mai El Kamash, ranked No. 66 in the nation, gave the Rebels a 2-0 lead when she downed Sarah McLean 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.   

Arkansas got on the board as senior Claudine Paulson defeated sophomore Julia Jones 7-6(6), 6-3 at No. 2 singles.  Paulson remained undefeated in the SEC at 8-0.  Jones had chances, as she led 4-2 in the first set.  Paulson rallied and served for it at 5-4, but Jones broke back.   In the tiebreaker, Jones led it 3-1 and then Paulson had two set points at 6-4.  Jones saved them both, but Paulson won the final two points to gain the early momentum in the match.

At No. 1 singles, Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 39, battled 68th-ranked Yang Pang of Arkansas in a close battle that went back and forth.  After dropping the first set tiebreaker 10-8, Rohde-Moe battled back to take a 4-2 lead in the second set.  Pang would not go away though, as she broke right back and eventually they would go to another tiebreaker.  Rohde-Moe saved several match points down 6-2 early on in the second set tiebreaker, and even held a set point before Pang closed it out 9-7 to tie it.

The Rebels return to action Wednesday, March 27 hosting a doubleheader against Jackson State beginning at Noon.

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

#51 Arkansas 4, #36 Ole Miss 3
1. #46 Rohde-Moe/Milutinovic (OM) def. Paulson/Jonker (ARK) 8-4
2. Stephens/Verboven (OM) def. Pang/Huxley (ARK) 9-7
3. Surin/Belmar Hernandez (ARK) def. El Kamash/Vlaar (OM) 8-0
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. #69 Yang Pang (ARK) def. #39 Caroline Rohde-Moe (OM) 7-6(8), 7-6(7)
2. #93 Claudine Paulson (ARK) def. Julia Jones (OM) 7-6(6), 6-3
3. #66 Mai El Kamash (OM) def. Sarah McLean (ARK) 6-2, 6-2
4. Erin Stephens (OM) def. Kimberley Surin (ARK) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
5. Brittany Huxley (ARK) def. Marija Milutinovic (OM) 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
6. Ana Belmar Hernadez (ARK) def. Vief Vlaar (OM) 6-2, 7-6(2)
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1, 4, 5, 6

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