Auburn women's tennis team tops Ole Miss in opener

Feb. 28, 2014

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#23 Auburn 5, #32 Ole Miss 2
Women's Singles Results
 No. 1 #26 Burgmans (AU) def. Kharirudinova (OM) 7-5, 6-1
 No. 2 #114 Flickinger (AU) def. Rohde-Moe (AU) 6-1, 7-6 (3)
 No. 3 Jones (OM) def. de Man (AU) 6-1, 6-4
 No. 4  Kucharova (AU) def. El Kamash (OM) 6-4, 7-5
 No. 5 Muller (AU) def. Stephens (OM) 4-6, 6-0, 6-1
 No. 6 Miluntinovic (OM) def. Kasler (AU) 7-5, 6-4
 Order of Finish 3, 1, 2, 5, 4, 6  
Women's Doubles Results
 No. 1 #29 Burgmans/Flickinger (AU) def. Stephens/Verboven (OM) 8-7 (10-8)
 No. 2 Kucharova/Muller (AU) def. Rohde-Moe/Milutinovic (OM) 8-1
 No. 3 Khairudinova/Jones (OM) def. Kasler/Pfeifler (AU) 8-5
 Order of Finish 1, 3, 2  

AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 23 Auburn women's tennis team defeated Ole Miss 5-2 on Friday in its first SEC match of the year at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.

Auburn's 5-2 win is the largest margin of victory by the Tigers over the Rebels at home along with the first win over Ole Miss at the Yarbrough Tennis Center since 2008.

The Tigers (11-2, 1-0 SEC) used a gutsy performance in both singles and doubles to come away with the win. The teams split the first two doubles matches, but Auburn's 29th-ranked pair of Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger battled Ole Miss' Iris Verboven and Erin Stephens and came away with an 8-7 (10-8) victory to give Auburn the point for the 13th straight match. The duo trailed 5-2 in the tiebreaker, but worked back to win at 10-8 to keep Auburn undefeated in doubles this season.

"We were a little bit timid at first in doubles, but as we got into the match our No. 2 doubles team got off the court pretty quickly. With No. 1 doubles, they struggled a bit being timid, but they hung in there and won some big points to gut it out," Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said.

Auburn's Michala Kucharova and Reka Muller cruised to an 8-1 win on court two in doubles, while Ole Miss (5-2, 0-1 SEC) evened play in doubles for a short time as Caroline Rohde-Moe and Marija Milutinovic defeated Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler, 8-5.

The Rebels evened the match at 1-1 for a short time as Auburn's Paula de Man fell to the Rebels' Julia Jones 6-1, 6-4 on court three. Pleun Burgmans picked up a tough first set and then cruised in the second set to knock off Zalina Khairudinova 7-5, 6-1 on court one to put the Tigers back on top 2-1 with a lead that they would not let go of for the rest of the match.

Flickinger's match on court two was just the opposite of Burgmans as the junior won the first set with ease then battled in a second-set tiebreaker to claim the match 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) over the Rebels' No. 104 Caroline Rohde-Moe. Flickinger trailed 3-2 in the breaker, but rattled off five straight points to close the match and win her ninth straight in singles.

"I played lights out in the first set, but credit Rohde-Moe from Ole Miss because she came out and played really well in the second set. I just hung in there and toughed it out," Flickinger said after the win.

Auburn clinched the match as freshman Reka Muller won with a gutsy three-set performance, losing just one game in the final two sets to win on court five over Ole Miss' Erin Stephens 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. Michala Kucharova won the tightest match of the afternoon, taking down the Rebels' Mai El Kamash 6-4, 7-5 on court four to put Auburn up 5-1.

"The nerves got to us a bit at the beginning of singles, but we hung in there with it being the first SEC match. Once we get this under our belt I think that won't be a problem, so for today probably a little more nervous than normal, but all together I'm really pleased with our play," Meisner said.

The Rebels' Miluntinovic won their second match in singles to close out the match over Auburn's Jackie Kasler 7-5, 6-4.

Auburn wraps up the first weekend of SEC play against Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.

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