Rebels women's tennis wins SEC West title

By School reports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 18 nationally ranked Ole Miss women’s tennis team captured the SEC West Championship Sunday with a 4-1 win at Alabama.

This marks the Rebels (13-4, 7-3) second SEC West title, as they also won it in 2005.

“We are excited to be the SEC Western Division Champions,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “We are very proud of the girls for sweeping the matches this weekend on the road. We won a close doubles point today and then carried the momentum into singles. I have to give credit to Alabama. They fought hard and made it tough for us.”

The day began with the Rebels taking the doubles point. After Alabama won 8-5 at No. 1, Connor Vogel and Gabby Rangel won their match 8-5 at No. 2. The point came down to Laura van de Stroet and Abby Guthrie, and they delivered, winning 8-6 to put the Rebels up 1-0.

That was all the momentum they needed to gain the upper hand in singles, winning five first sets. Van de Stroet was first off the court, handing Paulina Bigos a 6-3, 6-3 loss at No. 5 to make it 2-0. She has now won seven of her last eight.

Alabama got on the board when 47th-ranked Alexa Guarachi defeated reigning SEC Player of the Week Karen Nijssen 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.

Kristi Boxx got back on the winning track in singles, taking down Courtney McLane 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 to increase the lead to 3-1. Junior Connor Vogel clinched her third straight match, topping Meritt Emery 6-4, 6-2 to deliver the SEC West Championship.

The Rebels will conclude the regular season Saturday at Mississippi State with a chance to secure a first round bye in the SEC Tournament.

#18 Ole Miss 4
Alabama 1

DOUBLES
1. McLane/Guarachi (UA) def. Boxx/Nijssen (OM) 8-5
2. Vogel/Rangel (OM) def. Tunaru/Foehse (UA) 8-5
3. Guthrie/van de Stroet (OM) def. Bigos/Emery (UA) 8-6
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3
SINGLES
1. Kristi Boxx (OM) def. Courtney McLane (UA) 6-4, 6-2
2. Alexa Guarachi (UA) def. Karen Nijssen (OM) 6-2, 6-2
3. Connor Vogel (OM) def. Meritt Emery (UA) 6-4, 6-2
4. Abby Guthrie (OM) vs. Antonia Foehse (UA) 6-3, 2-6, 2-1, sus.
5. Laura van de Stroet (OM) def. Paulina Bigos (UA) 6-3, 6-3
6. Gabby Rangel (OM) vs. Alice Tunaru (UA) 7-5, 4-5, sus.
Order of Finish: 5, 2, 1, 3