March 15, 2009
OXFORD, Miss. - In a back-and-forth battle, it was Auburn's Myrthe Molenveld's singles victory in the No. 4 position that lifted the 49th-ranked Tiger women's tennis team to a 4-3 win over No. 67 Ole Miss Sunday afternoon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The win improves the Auburn's record to 7-5, 2-1 SEC, while the Rebels slipped to 5-5, 1-3 SEC.
"What a great match and a fantastic win for our team," head women's tennis coach Tim Gray said. "We came out very flat and didn't really do a good job at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles. I challenged the team to fight and compete harder in the singles and they really responded. Myrthe Molenveld did a phenomenal job of turning the momentum around in the final set. She was down 5-3, 30-0 and she kept on working, fighting and believing. We need to put this one in the memory banks because this will turn out to be a very good win."
Despite losing the doubles point, Auburn's No. 2 doubles team of Fani Chifchieva and Myrthe Molenveld picked up an 8-4 win over Ole's Miss' duo of Mimi Renaudin and Laura van de Stroet. The Tiger team of Chifchieva and Molenveld improved their record to 4-1, 2-1 SEC.
Auburn's 35th-ranked singles player, Alex Haney evened the team score by recording a 6-2, 6-4 decision over No. 62 Karen Nijssen in the second position. Ole Miss responded with a win on court five as Abigail Guthrie topped Auburn freshman Daniela Vukadinovic, 6-1, 6-2.
Chifchieva, ranked 11th nationally, evened the team score at 2-2 by defeating 62nd-ranked Kristi Boxx, 7-6(4), 6-2, in the No. 1 spot. On court six, Jil Hastenrath followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Mimi Renaudin. Ole Miss tied the team score up again with van de Stroet knocking off Auburn's Whitney Chappell, 7-5, 7-6(2).
In the day's decisive match on court four, Molenveld opened against Ole Miss' Gabriela Rangel with a first set 6-4 win. Rangel answered in the second set with a 6-2 victory to push the match into a decisive third set. True to the day's action, Molenveld and Rangel battled back-and-forth, but it was Molenveld who emerged victorious, 7-6(4).
Auburn will continue play on the road, traveling to Huntington, W.Va., for a March 21 contest against No. 60 William & Mary at 11 a.m. The Tigers will then face No. 63 Marshall at 10 a.m. on March 22. Both matches will take place at the Brian David Fox Tennis Center.
Auburn 4, Ole Miss 3
Doubles competition (Order of finish: 3, 1, 2)
1. #28 Karen Nijssen/Kristi Boxx (OM) def. Alex Haney/Whitney Chappell (AU), 8-3
2. Fani Chifchieva/Myrthe Molenveld (AU) def. Mimi Renaudin/Laura van de Stroet (OM), 8-4
3. Abby Guthrie/Gabriela Rangel (OM) def. Jil Hastenrath/Daniela Vukadinovic (AU), 8-2
Singles competition (Order of finish: 2, 5, 1, 6, 3, 4)
1. #11 Fani Chifchieva (AU) def. #60 Kristi Boxx (OM), 7-6(4), 6-2
2. #35 Alex Haney (AU) def. #62 Karen Nijssen (OM), 6-2, 6-4
3. Laura van de Stroet (OM) def. Whitney Chappell (AU), 7-5, 7-6(2)
4. Myrthe Molenveld (AU) Gabriela Rangel (OM), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(4)
5. Abigail Guthrie (OM) def. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU), 6-1, 6-2
6. Jil Hastenrath (AU) def. Mimi Renaudin (OM), 6-4, 6-3