OXFORD, Miss. - With an experienced group of seven returnees back from last year, the Ole Miss women's tennis team looks forward to the 2013-14 season. The Rebels will open the fall campaign this weekend in Cary, N.C., at the Duke Fab Four Invitational.
The tournament starts Friday with two rounds of doubles followed by the first round of singles. Saturday features the final round of doubles followed by a second and third round of singles. Play wraps up Sunday with the singles final.
Competing for the Rebels are juniors Julia Jones (McComb, Miss.), Erin Stephens (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) and Iris Verboven (Waalre, Netherlands) and sophomore Mai El Kamash (Cairo, Egypt). They will face an elite field with players from all over the nation including Duke, Alabama, Oklahoma State, William & Mary, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Miami, Furman and Texas A&M. Of those teams, seven finished in the top 25 last year, including four in the top 10.
"It's a great place to start the year," head coach Mark Beyers said. "Some of the top teams will be there, so it's an excellent measuring stick for our players and an opportunity to pick up some ranked wins."
The team started official practice Monday, but the players had been working out in the weight room and individually prior to this week. Beyers likes what he's seen so far from his veteran team.
"The girls have worked hard, especially in the weight room, and we are looking forward to playing some of the top players in college tennis and seeing where we are. We have a great fall schedule which includes several top tournaments. It's an excellent opportunity for the girls to pick up some quality wins and try and move up in the rankings to position themselves for an NCAA bid later."
Coming off their fifth consecutive NCAA appearance, the Rebels will be led by senior Caroline Rohde-Moe (Bloomenholm, Norway), who began the year ranked No. 39 in the nation in singles.
Rohde-Moe and sophomore teammate Marija Milutinovic (Stockholm, Sweden) received a No. 24 doubles ranking. El Kamash is ranked No. 85 nationally in singles.
"We have a good mix of experience and youth," Beyers said. "Obviously it's great to have Caroline as a senior, but the three juniors (Stephens, Jones and Verboven) will also play a huge leadership role. Our young players, Mai and Marija gained plenty of experience last year, especially Mai playing high up in the lineup."
As Beyers noted, the fall portion of the schedule gives players an opportunity to improve their ranking and potential for an NCAA individual bid. It is also beneficial for the coaches to see where certain players might fit in the singles and doubles lineups for the spring dual match season.
"Having a good fall helps us from a confidence standpoint and for the team ranking in the spring. It also helps us figure out potential singles and doubles lineups for the dual matches."
The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more
We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that junior cornerback Carlos Davis suffered a torn ACL and will likely have surgery Monday. Davis joins sophomore cornerback Tee Shepard and junior safety Chief Brown on the list of players expected to miss... read more
The launch of the SEC Network shows the growth and vision of the 14 schools in the conference. #OleMiss-- Coach Alex (@apsimms2) August 15, 2014 That was fun! And the @SECNetwork is only getting started. #SECStoried finished strong. Great... read more
Tonight is the night!! #SECNetworkLaunch pic.twitter.com/73UYs8B0Hg-- SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 14, 2014 Historic day for SEC & #OleMiss as we celebrate the launch of the @SECNetwork at 5pm CST! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August... read more
The center and right tackle position battles have been two of the biggest story lines of fall camp, but as the Rebels prepped for their second preseason scrimmage Wednesday night, they are closer to solidifying the depth chart along the... read more
"Buy-in" is a common term thrown around by coaches. How will first-year Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts measure buy-in, as the team continues its preseason work for the upcoming season? Attitude and effort. "If we bring those two... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team wrapped up its Bahamian exhibition tour with a perfect 2-0 record. Head coach Andy Kennedy recapped the trip, talked about the chemistry, depth and experience of a new-look roster heading into the fall. The... read more
Sophomore defensive end Fadol Brown and sophomore cornerback Kailo Moore returned from their respective injuries, while sophomore Tee Shepard remains out with a toe injury. The results from Shepard's MRI performed on Saturday are being sent to Birmingham, head coach... read more
The SEC Network will debut on Thursday, August 14 with a three-hour SEC Now that will visit every SEC school and the 21 sports within the SEC. The first two weeks of the network will also feature customized programming to... read more
Ole Miss continues its preparations for the the 2014 season with the second full week of fall camp starting Monday. Here's a look back at the first full week of fall camp with some observations and takeaways, as well as... read more
An extended portion of the team drills were open to the media. Gameplay-wise, the highlight of the period was a pair of deep throws from senior quarterback Bo Wallace, one to sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and another to junior... read more