A look at what’s going on in sports on the Ole Miss campus for the week of January 13, 2013.
By: Adam Brown
Compiled Press Releases from the Ole Miss Sports Information Desk
Caroline Rohde-Moe Earns Career-High In Singles
With the 2013 season just one week away, the Ole Miss women’s tennis team earned a ranking of No. 18 in the nation as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced its preseason team rankings as well as the latest singles and doubles rankings.
This marks the fourth year in a row for the Rebels to begin the season among the nation’s top 25.
“It’s great from a preseason standpoint to be voted No. 18 in the country,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “Obviously we’re going to have to show on the court that we’re deserving of this ranking. We’re going to be a very young team, but a talented team. We are looking forward to all the opportunities we have to play top-ranked teams and try and improve upon our ranking.”
The Rebels will face 13 teams ranked in the top 50, six in the top 25. The SEC boasts six teams in the top 25 which ties with the ACC for the most in the nation.
After a successful fall campaign, junior Caroline Rohde-Moe moved up to a career-high No. 30 in the singles rankings. The Blommenholm, Norway native is one of 11 players from the nation’s toughest conference (SEC) in the top 25. Rohde-Moe posted a team-leading 11-6 record including reaching the finals of the Southern Regional Championships and earning an at-large bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships.
“Caroline had a solid fall,” Beyers said. “We feel she’s made that step up to where she is one of the top players in college tennis now. We are excited for her and look for to climb higher throughout the season.”
The Rebels will begin the 2013 season Jan. 18-20 at the Michigan Invitational. Their first home match is Jan. 27 when they host Yale as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
Track and Field
Rebels To Start New Year On The Indoor Track—Morris Kersh (photo by Wesley Hitt)
The calendar year has turned the page to 2013, which means a new year for the Ole Miss men’s and women’s track & field teams to compete in the controlled conditions of an indoor track facility.
The Rebels’ first meet of 2013 is the Blazer Invite this Thursday and Friday, hosted by UAB at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The men’s and women’s 5,000 meters will be run at 7 p.m. on Thursday, while all other events will take place Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. and running through about 5 p.m.
The Ole Miss men are ranked No. 23 in the preseason indoor projections released this week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association after finishing the 2012 indoor season ranked 56th.
“Anytime you have a ranking, it propels some excitement into your program and it shows how hard these young men have worked,” said first-year head coach Brian O’Neal. “But it’s the beginning of the season, and we don’t want to look at press clippings or rankings, we just want to get better week to week.”
There have actually already been a handful of early meets this season, including the Rebels’ appearance at the Panther Indoor Icebreaker on Dec. 1, also held at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Highlighting the top performances by the Rebels last time in Birmingham was sophomore Sam Kendricks breaking his own school record in the pole vault. The Oxford, Miss., native cleared 17-6.5 to win the competition and set a new meet record. That mark currently ranks No. 2 in the nation.
Senior Ricky Robertson is expected to provide more elite performances in his final season as a Rebel. The Hernando, Miss., native is a six-time All-American and five-time SEC champion in the high jump, while he is a two-time honorable mention All-American in the triple jump and one of the Rebels’ top long jumpers, as well.
Elite short sprinter Mike Granger remains out after offseason knee surgery, and Olympian sprinter Isiah Young has exhausted indoor eligibility and will return for his senior season when outdoor begins in March.
The Ole Miss women were led in their first meet by freshman sprinter Asia Cooper, who hails from Jackson, Miss. Cooper set a meet record by winning the 60 meters in 7.45 and placed fourth in the 200 with a time of 24.80. She currently ranks 12th in the nation in the 100 and 19th in the 200.
Other Rebel women who rank highly in the nation include Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen in the 800 (8th, 2:13.33), Fabia McDonald in the long jump (11th, 19-2), Monica Williams in the 400 (12th, 56.37), Jazmin Miller in the weight throw (13th, 62-8.75) and Marci Morman in the triple jump (16th, 39-2.25).
Junior pole vaulter Neal Tisher should also be among the best in the nation this year. She holds the school indoor and outdoor records and placed 19th at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championships.
Rebels Fall At Tigers Thursday Night
The Ole Miss women’s basketball team fell on the road at Auburn Thursday night, falling 76-52 to the Tigers.
With the loss, Ole Miss fell to 7-9 overall (0-3 SEC) while Auburn improved to 13-3 (2-1 SEC).
Tia Faleru scored in double figures for the eighth time this year as she ended the game with a team-high 14 points. Valencia McFarland and Diara Moore each scored in double figures for the 11th time with year, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
For the game, Ole Miss shot 32.2 percent (19-59) from the floor while Auburn shot 54.8 percent (34-62). The Tigers outrebounded the Rebels 41-28 for the game.
The Tigers used a 12-2 run midway through the first half to build a 28-10 lead over the Rebels with 10:02 left in the half. Auburn pushed its lead to 43-19 with 2:48 remaining in the half.
Auburn led 45-27 at the half. Faleru led Ole Miss at the break with 10 points while Diara Moore added six. The Rebels shot 34.4 percent (11-32) from the floor while the Tigers shot 60.6 percent (20-33). Auburn held a 22-13 advantage in rebounding.
Auburn kept the pressure on in the second half going up 62-35 with 13:23 remaining in the game.
Ole Miss will host Alabama Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Sport South and will be digitally available on ESPN3. The ESPN3.com coverage will be blacked out in the SEC footprint.
Sunday’s game against Alabama is Take A Kid To The Game Day. Admission is FREE for all children eighth grade and under and the first 250 children will get a FREE basketball toy. Ole Miss will hold an autograph session on the court after the game.
The Ole Miss Rebels open up conference play at home on Saturday against the No. 10 Missouri Tigers. This will be the first meeting between the Rebels and Tigers. Ole Miss is looking for their first 2-0 start in the SEC since the 2005-06 season. You can read the full story on the game, “SEC Home Opener” for a complete breakdown of both teams. Tip-off is set for 7:00p.m. For fans unable to attend, the game will be carried on Fox Sports South.