OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss women's tennis team earned its fifth consecutive and 16th overall NCAA Championship bid and will travel to Lubbock, Texas for the first and second rounds. The Rebels will face the Duke in the first round.
The other two teams in the field are host, Texas Tech, and the College of Charleston. Ole Miss (16-13) and Duke will meet Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m. in the first round. Texas Tech and College of Charleston will play not before 2 p.m. The winners will meet Sunday, May 12 at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in Champaign, Ill.
“I am surprised,” said head coach Mark Beyers, on his initial reaction to going to Lubbock. “You kind of speculate where you think you might go, and Lubbock never came up in any conversation. We played there last year, so it’s not a total surprise. The girls know what to expect from a facilities standpoint. Early in the year, Duke was one of the top teams in the country. They’ve suffered some injuries, so maybe it’s not the worst draw in the world.”
The Rebels played both Duke and Texas Tech in 2012, losing a tough 4-3 match at Texas Tech early in the season and then falling to Duke at the ITA National Team Indoor by the same score.
“It’s going to be so much fun,” said junior All-SEC honoree Caroline Rohde-Moe. “This is what we’ve been working towards the whole season. To be able to go somewhere like Texas Tech and get to play teams that we’ve played before, it’s a great feeling at the end of the year. We definitely have a lot to show, and we’ve been practicing hard the last couple of weeks. We are ready to show what we can do and hopefully upset some people.”
The Rebels are a young team with just Rohde-Moe as the lone upperclassmen. However, sophomores Julia Jones, Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven can draw on the experience of making it as freshmen last year.
“We definitely got a good draw, we have a chance to do really well,” said Jones, who finished the regular season 15-7 in dual matches at two and three singles. We are going to prove that we can play our best tennis in May. We are all playing really well right now, and we’ve been practicing well these last two weeks. We’re all excited.”
Duke comes into the NCAA Championships with a 14-9 overall record and having lost to Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament in their most recent action. They are led by 27th-ranked Hanna Mar.
Ole Miss Women’s Tennis at NCAA Championships Lubbock, Texas • May 11-12 First Round • Saturday, May 11 Match 1 – Duke (14-9) vs. Ole Miss (16-13), 11 a.m. CT Match 2 – (16) Texas Tech (19-6) vs. College of Charleston (20-8), Not before 2 p.m. CT Second Round • Sunday, May 12 Match 3 – Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2, 1 p.m. CT
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