OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 37 ranked Ole Miss women's tennis team is in Lubbock to open the 2013 NCAA Championships against No. 15 ranked Duke. The Rebels and Blue Devils will face off Saturday at 11 a.m. at the McLeod Tennis Center.
"We are glad that this week is finally here," head coach Mark Beyers said. "It's a tough time when you don't play for two and half to three weeks after SECs. This week has been extra tough obviously with final exams and the girls have had to double up on exams because since we left Thursday morning. They are happy to be finished and ready to go play."
The Rebels finished the regular season 16-13, falling to No. 2 ranked Georgia in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals in their last action. Ole Miss is led by junior All-SEC honoree Caroline Rohde-Moe, ranked No. 45 in the country.
The Blue Devils come into the match 14-9, but fell in the first round of the ACC Tournament to Virginia Tech. Duke is led by Hanna Mar, ranked No. 27 in the nation. The Blue Devils' biggest win of the season came against No. 1 Florida. Beyers says the Rebels are looking forward to a great match against the Blue Devils.
"They were ranked as high as No. 2 in the country, but they've struggled with some injuries as of late," Beyers said. "It's tricky, because they do have injuries, but they have some great players on their roster. They beat Florida 4-0 earlier in the year. Even with the injuries, they beat Florida State a couple weeks ago. It's a great opportunity against a very talented team."
Duke and Ole Miss last played in 2012 at the ITA National Team Indoor in Charlottesville, Va. The match came down to court six, as the Blue Devils prevailed 4-3.
Beyers hopes that his team can get through to its first NCAA Sweet Sixteen since 2010 and thinks the Lubbock bracket is a great opportunity for the team.
"At Georgia Tech a couple years ago, we got through and made it to the Sweet Sixteen," Beyers said. "That's something we strive to do again and with this draw it's a possibility. We have to take it one match a time, but we're looking forward to trying to win two matches and advance to Illinois."
Beyers feels like the overall reputation and strength of the SEC will help the young Rebel team as they prepare to face Duke in the opening round.
"Because the SEC schedule is so strong, it's not like we're going to be intimidated playing Duke or being in the NCAA Tournament," Beyers said. "We've played a tough schedule against some of the best teams and players in the country. Hopefully we'll be able to play some good tennis and get through this weekend."
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more
Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more
AUDIO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network VIDEO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from CBS Sports VIDEO: Ole Miss bounces back, wins Egg Bowl from ESPN VIDEO: Bo Wallace fights through injury for win from ESPN... read more