OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s tennis team concluded its best season in several years ranked No. 21 in the nation in the final Campbell/ITA Rankings, released Friday. This marks the program’s first top 25 season-ending ranking since 2000 when they finished 18th.
“It’s a great step forward,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “This is a well deserved accomplishment for the team, because they worked hard. This gives us something to build on for next year. At the same time, we don’t want to stop here. We want to climb even higher next year.”
The Rebels qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2005, advancing to the second round. Ole Miss posted a 15-10 overall record and earned their best SEC finish (7th overall, 2nd in West) since 2005. They advanced to the SEC Tournament semifinals.
Ole Miss accomplished this in a year when as many as 11 SEC teams were ranked in the top 30 during the regular season. The SEC led the nation with nine teams finishing the season in the top 25. The Rebels defeated five top 25 teams in the SEC.
The Rebels were led by All-SEC honorees freshman Kristi Boxx and sophomore Karen Nijssen, who are currently competing in the NCAA Doubles Championship. In addition to them, sophomore Laura van de Stroet, freshmen Abigail Guthrie and Gabriela Rangel and senior Mimi Renaudin contributed largely to the team’s success.
The good news for the Rebels is that they return every member of the lineup in 2009-10 except Renaudin, and add talented transfers Pippa Reakes and Connor Vogel.
Ole Miss was one of 12 schools in the nation and five from the SEC to have both its men’s and women’s tennis teams' end the year ranked in the top 25.