In their third team win of the season, the women’s tennis team went head to head with the Rebels of Ole Miss Saturday. After just four games, the Bulls found themselves down 3-1 and in desperate need of their players to step up.
But it ended up being the underclassmen coming through.
Sophomore Gabriela Duch (4) and freshman Liz Cruz (5) defeated their opponents 6-3, 7-5; and 6-4, 6-1, respectively, to come from behind and tie the match at three.
According to two-time Olympic gold medalist coach Gigi Fernandez, the ladies showed “incredible effort” as they went into the seventh and final match tied at three games a piece.
“By the time it was her turn to play, we already knew that the match would come down to (Luisa),” Fernandez said.
Luisa Obando, the Bulls’ No. 6 seed, who has been playing with a hurt back for the last two and a half weeks, won the final two sets of her match to defeat the Rebel’s Sarah Sabin, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, and was named MVP of the game.
“I didn’t do it by myself,” Obando said. “I had the whole team with me.”
Fernandez added, “They were shell-shocked. We won because we had more heart.”
After the hard-fought win against Mississippi, the Bulls hopped on a plane to Memphis and blew through a match with the Tigers on Sunday.
“I think we were more confident since we won (Saturday),” said Obando, who won 6-0 and 6-3.
Freshman Courtney Vernon defeated Memphis junior Andrea Feichtinger, 6-0, 6-0, in just 35 minutes, adding to the Bulls’ sweep of the Tigers.
“I was able to go out, get the job done, and get off the court,” Vernon said. “We did really well.”
With a 3-0 start on the season, Fernandez is looking forward to upcoming matches.
“We’re eager for the ranks to come out on Tuesday,” Fernandez said.
The Bulls will face the UCF Knights on Feb. 16, at home.