STARKVILLE, Miss. – The No. 16 nationally ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team took care of business in its final regular season match, shutting out Mississippi State 7-0 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre to win their 23rd straight in the series.
With the win, the Rebels finished the regular season at 16-7 overall and 8-3 in the SEC. The Rebels will be the No. 4 seed in the upcoming SEC Championship, which they will host April 19-22 at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
“We earned a decisive road win today,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “In a rivalry match, you can always throw out the records, but the girls did a great job of never letting them get into the match. We are proud of the team for finishing the regular season on a five-match win streak and earning a first round bye in the SEC Championship.”
Mississippi State did not have enough players to field a complete lineup, so the Rebels won the No. 3 doubles match by default. The Rebels won the No. 2 match 8-2 to clinch the point and then fourth-ranked duo of Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie won 8-3 at No. 1 to finish the SEC at 10-1.
The Bulldogs also defaulted the No. 6 singles match, so the Rebels led 2-0 before singles even began. Freshman Julia Jones quickly made it 3-0 dominating Petra Ferancova 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4. She finished 8-3 in the SEC.
Boxx, newly ranked No. 9 in the nation, finished off the match officially, downing Alexandra Perper 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles to finish 9-1 in the SEC. She completed the league regular season a combined 19-2 in singles and doubles.
Sophomore Caroline Rohde-Moe won her match at No. 2 singles 6-1, 6-1. Freshman Erin Stephens picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win at No.3 singles to conclude league play 6-5. Guthrie secured the sweep, winning 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 to finish 10-1 in the SEC.
With the first round bye, the Rebels will await the winner of the No. 5/No. 12 match Friday at 3 p.m. The complete bracket will be released at the conclusion of regular season play.
“We are excited to host the SECs, and want to encourage all Rebel fans to come out and see some of the best tennis in the nation and support the Rebels on Friday at 3 p.m.,” Beyers said.
For more information on the SEC Championship, go to www.OleMissSports.com and click on the front page ad.
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