OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 24 ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team lost the doubles point to South Carolina and couldn’t recover, dropping a 4-2 match to the Gamecocks here Friday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
With the loss, the Rebels fell to 11-6 overall and 5-5 in SEC play, while the Gamecocks improved to 13-8 overall and 4-6 in league play. The Rebels must regroup fast, as No. 7 Florida comes to town Sunday for a 10 a.m. match.
"South Carolina played a great match today," head coach Mark Beyers said. "They outfought us at certain times, and that is disappointing. I know as a team we can play better than this, and we need to regroup and try to accomplish that against a very good Florida team on Sunday. There were a lot of really upset players in the locker room, who care a lot about Ole Miss tennis, so I have no doubt we'll be ready to go Sunday."
Julia Jones and Zalina Khairudinova won 8-3 at No. 3 doubles for their 14th victory of the season, but the Gamecocks earned a pair of 8-4 wins at the top two courts for the 1-0 lead.
Each team won three first sets in singles. Jones was able to break and win the first set 6-3 and then cruised 6-0 in the second to put the Rebels on the board and win her fourth in a row. She improved to 10-4 at No. 3 singles.
South Carolina regained the lead when Katarina Popova defeated Khairudinova 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
Mai El Kamash briefly tied the match at 2, when she defeated Meghan Blevins 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4 singles to win her eighth in a row.
However, the Gamecocks finished off the other matches where they won first sets, at No. 1 and 6 singles for the final 4-2 score.
Fans coming to Sunday’s match will receive an Ole Miss Tennis pint glass while supplies last, and one lucky fan will win a brand new Wilson tennis racquet.
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