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.
This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 4 - ULL (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 2 and The Season: Ole Miss... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' open date and return to action on Saturday, Sept. 27 against Memphis.Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:50:18 mark. For the... read more
NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., visited Ole Miss on Wednesday. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native spoke to various student groups, including the football team. Stenhouse Jr. presented head coach Hugh Freeze with a firesuit, and Freeze presented him with an... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more
After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday. Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more
This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman. That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more
With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more
Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more