OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss women's tennis team prides itself on excellence in everything they do. For the 2014 team, it was another solid year on and off the court, under head coach Mark Beyers, who completed his 13th year leading the program.
The Rebels made their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance and advanced to the second round before falling to eventual NCAA Champion UCLA, to finish the season ranked No. 28 in the final ITA National Rankings.
One of 11 SEC teams to make the NCAA field of 64, the Rebels finished 14-10 overall with no losses to teams outside the top 30, and played several top 10 teams very close, including having match points against No. 9 Texas A&M. They defeated Texas Tech 4-3 to reach the second round of the NCAAs.
Junior Julia Jones earned All-SEC honors for the second time in her career, and finished the year ranked No. 100 in the nation in singles and No. 8 in the Southern Region. She led the Rebels with an overall record of 27-11, 16-7 in dual matches. Jones also posted a 15-6 doubles record with freshman Zalina Khairudinova.
The Rebels have had at least one member of the squad named to the All-SEC team every year under Coach Beyers (13 years).
Sophomore Mai El Kamash finished second on the team with 26 wins, while junior Erin Stephens ended the year on an 11-match winning streak.
"Maybe we didn't reach all of our goals, but all in all we had another solid season, making the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and finishing 28th in the country," head coach Mark Beyers said. "With a little bit of luck we could have won a few more matches and possibly finished a little higher. The Texas A&M match stands out; we had a couple of match points to clinch the win, but couldn't close it out."
The Rebels also picked up two ITA Southern Regional Awards, as senior Caroline Rohde-Moe was named the Most Improved Senior and associate head coach Jason Ontog received the Assistant Coach of the Year Award for the third time in five years.
Off the court, it was another outstanding year for the Rebels with Rohde-Moe leading the way. The Bloomenholm, Norway native graduated with honors, earning degrees in Managerial Finance and Economics. She received a Taylor Medal, awarded to the top one percent in each school at the University of Mississippi, and was a finalist for the SEC Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. In addition, Rohde-Moe was named a Capital One Academic All-District honoree.
As a team, the Rebels posted a 3.47 grade point average, positioning themselves to earn the prestigious ITA All-Academic Team Award for a record 18th consecutive year. The entire team made the University Honor Roll, while Rohde-Moe posted a 4.0 GPA for the fourth straight semester.
With six of the top seven returning and the addition of Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands and Sweden's Caroline Kallberg, the Rebels are looking forward to the 2015 season and making some noise in the SEC and on a national level.
"We are very excited about having a lot of experience returning next year and adding two talented players to the mix," Beyers said. "We should have a very strong team next year with an opportunity to have a great season."
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