OXFORD, Miss. - The No. 4 seed Ole Miss women's tennis team reached the semifinals of the SEC Championship Friday with a 4-0 win over the fifth seed, Vanderbilt, in front of a large crowd at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The Rebels will face the No. 1 seed, Florida, in the semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m.
This marks the Rebels' third semifinal appearance in the SEC Tournament in four years. Florida advanced to its 25th semifinal overall with a 4-0 win against eighth-seeded Tennessee.
The other semifinal on Saturday, will feature the No. 2 seed, Alabama, versus the No. 3 seed, Georgia at 10 a.m.
"This is really exciting. I'm so happy for the girls. It was a great crowd out here and a great atmosphere. Playing in front of a crowd like this and hosting this tournament I think has really helped our kids," head coach Mark Beyers said. "We're looking forward to playing Florida. Hopefully we can play even better tomorrow and try and get to the finals."
The Rebels jumped on the Commodores early by taking the doubles point and never really let Vanderbilt into the match. The freshman duo of Julia Jones and Iris Verboven won 8-1 at No. 3 doubles and then Gabby Rangel and Erin Stephens clinched the point at No. 2. They trailed 0-3 early in the match, but then won eight of the next nine games to take it 8-4.
"At No. 3 doubles we had a quick 8-1 victory. I'm excited because at No. 2 doubles we got beat a couple of weeks ago 8-6, and were able to turn it around and win 8-4 (today)," Beyers said.
In singles, Ole Miss won five of six first sets. First off the court, sophomore Vivian Vlaar downed Commodore Megan Gornet 6-0, 6-2 at No. 6 to make it 2-0. Moments later senior Abby Guthrie finished off Nelly Radeva 6-3, 6-1 on court five and then Stephens closed it out, winning 6-4, 6-0 against Marie Casares on court three.
"In singles, we win five first sets and people probably think that's an easy victory, but I never felt that way," Beyers said. "I was proud of the girls for closing out some of those first sets, and also closing out the second sets. Erin (Stephens) last time was up big against their girl and their girl came back. Erin was able to just dominate the second set. We did a good job of taking care of business on (courts) five and six, so it was just a great team effort."
In the regular season meeting, the Rebels lost to Florida 6-1 in Gainesville. Guthrie was the lone winner in that match.
Earlier in the day, Georgia took out sixth-seeded South Carolina 4-0 behind the doubles point and straight set wins at three, five and six. In the second quarterfinal match, Alabama downed 10th-seeded Arkansas 4-0. The Crimson Tide took the doubles point and then picked up straight set wins on courts two, five and six to secure their spot in the semifinals.
We begin this week with the last moment in 1996. Moment No. 21 was a team accomplishment led by Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. Chadwick took over the Ole Miss men's tennis program in 1983. And from that time,... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewMarch 3-10, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss improved to 14-2 on the season with a series sweep of UALR this past weekend that included the team's fifth walk-off win of the season.- The Rebels moved up to... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy's time on the SEC teleconference Monday as well as selected questions and answers from Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings and Georgia head coach Mark Fox.Ole Miss... read more
Long-time Ole Miss athletic trainer Leroy Mullins will be inducted into the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame later this month. He will be recognized at the organization's annual clinical symposium March 14-16 at the Crown Plaza Ravinia Hotel... read more
THE SEASON: Ole Miss Basketball (2014) - Episode 7 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, here are each of the first six episodes of The Season: Ole Miss Basketball:Episode 1 (Season overview, Auburn, Mississippi State games)Episode... read more
In less than a full indoor season with the Ole Miss track & field team, Australian distance runner Daniel Bulmer has had a significant impact on the school record books and set the stage for a lot more to come... read more
What a Win tonight... Very Proud of our team #ProudCoach #Passion #Process #1MISSion-- Matt Insell (@minsell) March 6, 2014 What a great win for our program tonight! This team has come so far! Watch us take on Auburn tomorrow night... read more
Proceeding from 1995 to 1996, we will highlight moment No. 23 in head coach Billy Chadwick's career. This particular moment will accentuate a tremendous individual accomplishment. In 1996, Sweden's Johan Hede became the first Rebel in Ole Miss tennis history... read more
The Ole Miss women's basketball team looks to carry the momentum from a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day this past Sunday into this week's Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The Rebels are... read more
Ole Miss and Arkansas are both looking to improve their Southeastern Conference standing and possibly play their way into a top-four seed and a double bye to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament next week in Atlanta. The Rebels are... read more