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Rebels hold off Tennessee to advance in SEC championships

BATON ROUGE, La. — With their postseason chances hanging in the balance, sophomore Natalie Suk fought off two match points and rallied to clinch a 4-3 win for the Ole Miss women’s tennis team against Tennessee in the first round of the SEC Championship Wednesday.

In the regular season meeting, Suk lost in straight sets to Eve Repic at court two. This time, Suk won the first set 7-5. Repic raced through the second set 6-1 forcing a deciding set. Suk faced two match points at 5-3, 40-30, but fought them off and won three straight games to send it to a tiebreaker. She got off to a good start in the breaker and held on to win it 7-3 to send the Rebels on to a second round meeting against fifth-seeded South Carolina.

The Rebels began the day with 6-3 wins on courts three and one to secure the doubles point. They built a 3-0 lead as senior Mai El Kamash downed Kim Kermet 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3 singles and then freshman Allie Sanford stepped into the lineup at No. 5 and downed UT’s Mary Catherine Meredith 6-4, 6-2.

Tennessee earned two straight set wins on courts one and four and a three-setter on six to tie the match and set up the final outcome on court two.

The Rebels are now 13-10 overall and advanced to face the No. 5 seed, South Carolina, this morning.