STARKVILLE, Miss. - The No. 26 ranked Ole Miss women's tennis team secured their 25th straight win against arch-rival Mississippi State Sunday, winning four singles to top the Bulldogs 4-2 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
With the win, the Rebels improved to 11-5 overall and 5-4 in the SEC. It marked the team's fourth straight SEC fifth win overall in their last six matches.
"It's great to get our 25th win in a row against State," head coach Mark Beyers said. "We are proud of the girls, as this is State's best team in a long time. We got a little unlucky in doubles, they were playing hard and playing at home. But, we jumped out to some quick leads in singles and we closed out those matches. Then Iris stepped up and closed it out at six. Caroline was up at two, so we were in a good position to get that last point."
The Bulldogs took the early lead by claiming two tiebreakers at one and three doubles. Zalina Khairudinova and Jones lost at No. 3 doubles for just the fourth time all year.
Stephens came off the court first in singles, downing Naomi Tran 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 singles for her sixth win in a row. Jones gave the Rebels a 2-1 lead with her 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 against State's Timea Guibe.
State tied it up when 66th-ranked Georgiana Patrasc defeated Khairudinova 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1 singles.
However, the match didn't stayed tied long, as El Kamash earned her seventh straight win, beating Roseline Dion 6-1, 6-4 at No. 4 to put the Rebels back on top for good. She is now 11-3 at No. 4 singles.
Verboven won a huge first set tiebreaker 7-6(4) and then finished off MSU's Petra Ferancova 6-3 in the second to clinch the victory and improve to 8-0 at No. 6 singles. She has now clinched two of the last three SEC wins for the Rebels.
Ole Miss returns home to host South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas-Pine Bluff as part of the Regions Bank Grove Bowl weekend festivities. The Rebels will face the Gamecocks Friday, April 4 at 3 p.m.
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