COLUMBIA, S.C. -- In their first meeting back in late February, the No. 22 Ole Miss women's tennis team and No. 20 Kentucky went down to the wire, but this time it was all Rebels, as they shut out the Wildcats 4-0 in the second round of the SEC Championship to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Rebels will face the No. 1 seed, and No. 3 ranked team in the nation, Florida Friday at 8 a.m. CT.
The first time Ole Miss and Kentucky met this year, the Rebels dropped the doubles point on their way to a 4-3 loss. This time, the Rebels captured the point with wins at the top two courts. After Erin Stephens and Mai El Kamash beat Nadia Ravita and Kirsten Lewis 8-3 at No. 2, Julia Jones and Natalie Suk upset No. 29 ranked Mami Adachi and Aldila Sutjiadi 8-6 to clinch the point.
Shortly after singles began rain came again and play was moved indoors. Once inside, the Rebels picked up steam and never let up.
Stephens closed out Adachi 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4 singles to make it 2-0. Jones, ranked No. 11, won her 28th match of the year, downing Sutjiadi 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles to put the Rebels within one, and then El Kamash finished off 64th-ranked Nadia Ravita 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 to clinch the win.
"This was a great team effort, we played extremely well," head coach Mark Beyers. Last time we lost the doubles, but this time we won the point. That gave us some confidence going into the singles. We had to move indoors right at the start of singles, and I thought it would be more of an advantage to them, but we handled it better.
"Erin played probably her best match of the year to get us a quick singles point. Julia and Mai played great as well. We never let them get into the match and that was great to see. We are very proud of the girls. We always talk about playing our best tennis in April and May. When you go from losing 4-3 to beating them 4-0, that's impressive."