OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 24 nationally ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team gets ready for a three-match homestand against No. 44 South Carolina, No. 7 Florida, and University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, as part of the Regions Bank Grove Bowl festivities this weekend. It will also be the final home matches for senior Caroline Rohde-Moe.
“It’s always exciting when you have a lot of people on campus for a big weekend,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Hopefully some of them will find their way over to the tennis center either Friday afternoon or Sunday after church and hopefully we can get a couple wins this weekend.”
The Rebels are coming off their 25th consecutive win against Mississippi State last weekend, downing the Bulldogs 4-2. This marked the Rebels fourth straight SEC win bringing them to 5-4 in league play.
Fans coming to Friday’s match at 3 p.m. against South Carolina will enjoy free chicken tenders between doubles and singles. One lucky fan will win a free tennis racquet as well.
South Carolina comes into the match 12-8 overall, 3-6 in SEC play. The Gamecocks are led by Elixane Lechemia, who comes in ranked 117th.
“We have two really good teams coming in here,” Beyers said. “South Carolina struggled for awhile this season, but they’ve really picked it up lately. They beat LSU and Arkansas this past weekend, which is no easy feat. They’re going to come in like us, pretty confident. It will be interesting to see which team can carry on the winning streak.”
Sunday’s doubleheader begins at 10 a.m. when the Rebel’s take on Florida. Fans will receive Ole Miss tennis glasses and another chance to win a free tennis racquet.
Florida comes into the weekend with an overall record of 14-4 and 7-2 in the SEC. They are coming off two home wins this past weekend against Arkansas and LSU. They are led by senior Sofie Oyen, who won her 100th career singles match last weekend as well.
“Obviously Florida is one of the top programs in the country,” Beyers said. “I feel like we can compete with anybody, we’ve shown that against Georgia and Vanderbilt. Even though we came up a little short in those matches, the girls have shown that they can compete with those teams.”
Following the Florida match, Ole Miss will play Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a non-conference match starting not before 3pm.
The Rebels are looking to improve their SEC record and pick up three more wins as they close out the regular season home schedule.
Rohde-Moe has played every match in the top half of the lineup during her career and has helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Championships each of her years as well as earned All-SEC honors twice. Off the court, she is an outstanding student. A member of the Honors College, Rohde-Moe has been named an ITA Scholar-Athlete twice, is a finalist for the Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year and will receive a Taylor Medal, the highest academic honor at the University of Mississippi.
Beyers talked about what Rohde-Moe has meant to the program on and off the court.
“Caroline has had a great career; she’s meant so much to this program.” “It’s hard to replace somebody like her with that kind of energy and everything she does for our program. Hopefully we can have a good last few weeks of the regular season and a great NCAA Tournament, so we can extend her career as long as possible. The awards she’s won academically are unbelievable. She’s the total package as far as the student-athlete goes.”
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