OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss women’s tennis team, dropped to No. 42 in the first computerized national rankings on Tuesday, but they will get a big opportunity this weekend to improve that as they host No. 5 Alabama and No. 17 Auburn to kick off Southeastern Conference play.
Friday’s match against Alabama starts at 3 p.m., at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center, weather permitting. Free pizza will be served between doubles and singles and fans can take home a collector poster of sophomore Erin Stephens.
The Rebels are coming off a tough 6-1 loss to then No. 16 Virginia, but head coach Mark Beyers hopes that the tough early schedule will help his team this weekend.
“It’s exciting to have a top-five and a top-20 team coming to Oxford,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for this young team to move up in the national rankings and get off to a good start in the SEC. We have already played some really good teams, so we won’t be intimidated. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a great crowd.”
Alabama comes into the match at 8-1 overall. The Crimson Tide boasts four players in the national rankings led by junior Mary Anne Macfarlane, who is ranked No. 20. Senior Alexa Guarachi is ranked No. 36. In addition, freshman Maya Jensen is ranked No. 77 and freshman Natalia Maynetto is ranked No. 106. In doubles, Macfarlane and Guarachi are ranked No. 4 nationally.
On Sunday, the Rebels will host No. 17 Auburn at 1 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to make their own ice cream sundae between doubles and singles.
Auburn comes into Sunday’s match at 10-1 overall with their only loss coming against No. 1 North Carolina. The Tigers have one player ranked nationally; freshman Pleun Burgmans is ranked No. 70.
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