May 8, 2009

Courtesy Mississippi Athletics

ATLANTA – The 21st-ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team defeated Denver 4-1 here Friday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center to advance to the NCAA second round for the first time since 2001.  The Rebels will play eighth-ranked Georgia Tech Saturday at 1 p.m.

Georgia Tech advanced to the second round with a dominating 4-0 win over Jackson State.  The winner of Saturday's match will advance to the "Sweet Sixteen" in College Station, Texas.

The Rebels (15-9) got on the board first by taking the doubles point.  The freshman duo of Abigail Guthrie and Gabriela Rangel downed Denver’s Julia Bauregger and Ute Schnoy 8-2 at No. 2 doubles.  At one, the 16th-ranked pair of Karen Nijssen and Kristi Boxx defeated the Pioneer team of Mallory Voelker and Kyla Iwinski 8-4 to clinch the point.  Ole Miss led 7-3 at No. 3 when play was stopped.  The Rebels improved to 14-3 when they win the doubles point.

“The doubles was really good,” head coach Mark Beyers said.  “I thought we got off to a great start. We were up 4-0 in two matches and 4-1 in the other.  We never gave them a chance to get into the doubles.  That was obviously a huge momentum boost for us going into singles.”

Nijssen won her seventh match in a row, downing Annette Aksdal 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead. 

Denver got on the board when Ute Schnoy defeated sophomore Laura van de Stroet 6-4, 6-0 on court three.

The Rebels closed out the Pioneers with wins on courts four and five from Guthrie and Rangel.  Guthrie downed Julia Bauregger 6-2, 6-1 at four, and then Rangel won in three sets against Kyla Iwinski, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 to clinch the match.

“Karen and Abby took care of business quickly,” Beyers said.  “Gabby, after a solid first set and not so strong second set, came back and won easily in the third set.  She’s done that a couple of times.  But everybody battled.”

Denver (16-6), which earned an at-large bid out of the Sun Belt Conference, had leads in the two remaining singles matches when Ole Miss closed things out.

“We are really excited to be in the second round and play Georgia Tech,” Beyers said.  “We look forward to that opportunity tomorrow.”

1. Nijssen/Boxx (OM) def. Voelker/Iwinski (DU) 8-4
2. Guthrie/Rangel (OM) def. Bauregger/Schnoy (DU) 8-2
3. van de Stroet/Renaudin (OM) vs. Aksdal/Tirumurti (DU) 7-3, sus.
Order of Finish: 2, 3

1. Kristi Boxx (OM) vs. Mallory Voelker (DU) 6-7(7), 1-2, sus.
2. Karen Nijssen (OM) def. Annette Aksdal (DU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Ute Schnoy (DU) def. Laura van de Stroet (UM) 6-4, 6-0
4. Abigail Guthrie (OM) def. Julia Bauregger (DU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Gabriela Rangel (OM) def. Kyla Iwinski (DU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
6. Mimi Renaudin (OM) vs. Bhavani Tirumurti (DU) 6-7(6), sus.
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 4, 5