March 4, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The 19th-ranked Vanderbilt women's tennis team will open Southeastern Conference play this weekend as they travel to the Magnolia State to play against No. 38 Ole Miss and No. 72 Mississippi State. VU will play Ole Miss at 2 p.m. CT on Friday in Oxford, Miss., before traveling to Starkville to play the Lady Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Vanderbilt will look to win its second straight SEC opener against Ole Miss on Friday as VU opened last year's 2009 SEC campaign with an impressive 5-2 win over No. 29 South Carolina in Nashville.
The Commodores (5-2) are coming off a 5-2 win over No. 54 Brown at the Currey Tennis Center in Nashville on Feb. 27. The `Dores waisted little time in clinching the match against the Bears as they won the first three completed singles matches after capturing the doubles point. VU's Catherine Newman, Heather Steinbauer, Rachael Dillon and Hannah Blatt all recorded singles victories in the win over Brown. Vanderbilt's match against Brown was the first home dual of the season after playing the first five weeks of the season away from Nashville.
Through seven dual matches this season, the `Dores have displayed their depth in both singles and doubles. Head Coach Geoff Macdonald has continued to mix-and-match doubles teams throughout the non-conference slate.
A Closer Look at Ole Miss
The Rebels are off to a 5-1 start after downing Middle Tennessee State, 7-0 last weekend. Ole Miss is led by sophomore Kristi Boxx and junior Karen Nijssen. Boxx enters conference play undefeated at No. 1 singles and is 4-1 at No. 1 doubles while pairing with Nijssen. The Rebels have posted three 7-0 sweeps this season while their only setback came in a 4-3 road loss to No. 12 Clemson. Last year, Vanderbilt took down the 27th-ranked Rebels, 5-2 in Nashville.
A Closer Look at Mississippi State
Mississippi State is 7-1 on the season after recording wins over Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Mississippi last weekend. The Lady Bulldogs only loss this season came on Jan. 31 when they lost 7-0 to No. 7 Miami at the ITA Kick-Off weekend. Mississippi State is currently on six match winning streak, with all of the matches coming at home. Last year, Vanderbilt defeated the Lady Bulldogs, 6-1 in Nashville for its 20th straight dual win against MSU.