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.
The No. 18 Ole Miss football team won the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game defeating Boise State 35-13. The Rebels move into Southeastern Conference next week with a road test at Vanderbilt from Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The... read more
ATLANTA -- Boise State had been the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 40.2 points per game dating back to the 2000 season. Highlighted by four interceptions, eight tackles for loss and big hits by several different players, the... read more
ATLANTA -- After an up-and-down first half, which included a touchdown and three interceptions, senior quarterback Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss offense found their stride in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Leading 7-6 early in the... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss opens its 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Boise State from Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Contrast in Experience Boise State has one of the youngest teams in the country with 67 freshmen... read more
Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more
For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships. For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more
ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense. And... read more
After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more
Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more
Like defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, defensive line coach Chris Kiffin has been pleased with his players throughout fall camp, particularly the depth bolstered by the return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and the addition of sophomore Fadol Brown and... read more
Three things from Ole Miss soccer head coach Matt Mott, previewing the season opener against Georgia on Friday night. Rebels Look to Take Next Step Ole Miss made history this past season, not only setting a school record for wins,... read more