Saunders Continues to Break Records in OM Track and Field

sports round up -01

Today’s sports roundup also features Ole Miss Women’s Tennis Shuts Out UC Irvine in Season Opener, Ole Miss Rifle Falls to Murray State and Kentucky

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Ole Miss Women’s Tennis Shuts Out UC Irvine in Season Opener

tennisIn the 2017 season opener, the Ole Miss women’s tennis team left no doubt that they were ready, shutting out UC Irvine 7-0 to conclude the first part of their trip out west. They will now head across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii for their next match.

The Rebels won all three doubles matches to begin with the 1-0 lead. Sophomore Tea Jandric quickly made it 2-0 as she shut out her opponent, Jacqueline Tsodikova, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5 singles.

Freshman Alexa Bortles joined the team 10 days ago and stepped right into the lineup in doubles and singles and won both. Her 6-2, 6-1 win over Hali Dickson at No. 6 singles gave the Rebels a 3-0 lead. Bortles also teamed with Natalie Suk for a win at No. 2 doubles.

Senior Zalina Khairudinova finished off the Anteaters, downing Cassidy Branstine 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles.

At the net…
• The Rebels improved to 13-3 in season openers under head coach Mark Beyers.
• Senior Zalina Khairudinova improved to a team-leading 7-3 on the year.
• Junior All-American Arianne Hartono improved to 6-3 on the year.
• Two freshman made their debut. Alexa Bortles and Anna Vrbenska both won in doubles and singles.
• The Rebels did not drop a set in any of the singles matches

Thoughts from head coach Mark Beyers…
“Solid start to the season. It’s always good to get the butterflies out, play a match and get a ‘W’.
I am proud of the way we competed and of our energy level. As we get more practice and match play in, the level of tennis will continue to go up. All-in-all a very good start to the season for us.”

Complete results
Doubles
1. Arianne Hartono/Anna Vrbenska (OM) def. Constance Branstine/Stephanie Nguyen (UCI) 6-4
2. Alexa Bortles/Natalie Suk (OM) def. Vivien Dvali/Hali Dickson (UCI) 7-6 (4)
3. Zalina Khairudinova/Tea Jandric (OM) def. Cassidy Branstine/Jacqueline Tsodikova (UCI) 6-0
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
Singles
1. #31 Arianne Hartono (OM) def. Constance Branstine (UCI-W) 6-3, 6-0
2. Natalie Suk (OM) def. Vivien Dvali (UCI-W) 6-2, 6-4
3. Anna Vrbenska (OM) def. Stephanie Nguyen (UCI-W) 6-2, 6-2
4. Zalina Khairudinova (OM) def. Cassidy Branstine (UCI-W) 6-1, 6-1
5. Tea Jandric (OM) def. Jacqueline Tsodikova (UCI-W) 6-0, 6-0
6. Alexa Bortles (OM) def. Hali Dickson (UCI-W) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 4, 1, 3, 2

Up next…
The Rebels will head to Hawaii to face the Rainbow Wahine Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. CT.

For more information on Ole Miss Women’s Tennis, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWTennis, on Facebook at OleMissWTennis and on Instagram at OleMissWTennis. Also follow Coach Beyers on Twitter, @MarkBeyers.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports


Saunders, Williams Break More Records in Ole Miss Track & Field Opener

raven-saunders-jtmccoy.jpg
Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy

The second day of the Ole Miss Rebels’ season-opening track & field meet was much like the first, featuring more NCAA-leading performances and school records.

On Saturday at the Commodore Invitational, Ole Miss throwers put on another powerful display with an NCAA-leading women’s shot put from junior Raven Saunders and a school-record men’s shot put from new Rebel Brian Williams.

On the weekend, Ole Miss athletes recorded two school records, one facility record, two NCAA-leading marks, two event victories, four runners-up and a remarkable 33 indoor personal bests.

“It was a really good first meet,” head coach Connie Price-Smith said. “I was very pleased with the way that most of our athletes competed. Everybody kind of got their feet wet. I think some of the younger ones will be a little less nervous next time out. All they have to do is compete and do what they’ve been doing in the past and in training. Now they know they should be able to compete with anybody out there.”

Saunders, a 2016 Bowerman finalist, picked up where she left off a year ago when she set collegiate records for both indoor and outdoor shot put and placed fifth at the Rio Olympics. The Charleston, South Carolina, native uncorked a throw of 19.10m/62-8 that was a facility record and by far the best in the NCAA this year. It was the second-best indoor throw of her career (behind only her record of 19.23m/63-1.25) and the fifth-best mark in NCAA indoor history. She joins Oklahoma’s Tia Brooks and North Carolina’s Laura Gerraughty as the only women to throw 19 meters on multiple occasions indoors.

“She threw well,” Price-Smith said of Saunders. “It took her a little to find her rhythm, and she found it. It was a good opener for her.”

Saunders’ new teammate, junior college transfer Janeah Stewart, placed fifth in the shot put with a mark of 15.67m/51-5 that ranks her third in school history, one day after her NCAA-leading and school-record weight throw.

Not to be outdone by the ladies, junior college transfer Brian Williams made his mark in his Ole Miss shot put debut, shattering an 11-year-old school record with his personal-best mark of 18.83m/61-9.5 that ranks him among the top five or 10 in the NCAA this year. The previous Rebel record of 17.71m/58-1.25 was set by Derek McGuire in 2006.

“It was really nice to see (Janeah and Brian) come out and perform and compete so well,” Price-Smith said. “They were always really capable of those marks, so it was good to see them come in and take off like that.”

The pole vaulters also had a big opener for the 21st-ranked Rebel women. Freshman Sandra Brown took the win in her collegiate debut with a personal-best 4.09m/13-5, good for No. 3 in school history. She led a 1-2-4-4-6 finish for the Rebels, which included junior Lindsey Murray (3.99m/13-1), freshman Nicole Kallenberger (3.89m/12-9), senior Callie Watson (PR 3.89m/12-9) and sophomore Katy McAuley (3.79m/12-5.25).

Other top performers for the women included a personal-best 800-meter run by sophomore Maddie McHugh (2:10.03) to move up to No. 9 in school history and freshman Jeanette Paul clocking a PR 8.70 in the 60-meter hurdles for No. 8 in school history.

Of the 12 men who competed on Saturday, seven were freshmen, many of whom were competing in the first indoor meet of their life. Top performances included freshman Courtland Barnes running 6.94 in the 60 meters and senior Trevor Gilley clocking 4:06.41 in the mile.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports


Ole Miss Rifle Falls to Murray State and Kentucky

Marsha Beasley - Rifle Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
Marsha Beasley – Rifle
Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

The Ole Miss rifle team welcomed No. 3 Murray State and No. 5 Kentucky to open the second half of the 2016-17 season on Jan. 14, while fans enjoyed free Chick-fil-A and coffee.

The Rebels fell to Murray State (4708) and Kentucky (4664) in both air rifle (2345) and smallbore (2279) to post a 4624 aggregate.

Recapping the Match

Ole Miss was led by senior Alison Weisz in air rifle, as she posted her second highest score of her career (595), which was two points off the school record that she set in the fall. Weisz’s score was the second highest in the match behind Murray State’s junior Bobby Broadstreet (597). Sophomore Harley Gardner followed behind Weisz shooting a 587, her fourth highest score this season.

Junior Jessica Haig led the Rebels in smallbore shooting a 574, the same score she shot against Army back in November. This is the third highest score for Haig this season, just five points behind her career high. Gardner followed behind Haig shooting a 571, but despite the uncharacteristic total she fired two perfect scores in prone for the first time. Sophomore Randi Loudin mirrored Gardner as she too shot a perfect 200 in the prone competition. The best score for smallbore in this match was shot by Murray State’s junior Ivan Roe (589).

SMALLBORE RESULTS

Jessica Haig 574

Harley Gardner 571

Alison Weisz 570

Hayley Carroll 564

Randi Loudin 558

TOTAL 2,279

AIR RIFLE RESULTS

Alison Weisz 595

Harley Gardner 587

Jessica Haig 585

Jillian Tyler 578

Hayley Carroll 575

TOTAL 2,345

Talking with Head Coach Marsha Beasley

“This was a very rough day for us. It is always tricky coming back from a long break. Sometimes folks can pick up where they left off, but other times it takes a couple weeks to get back to the level where they were performing,” Beasley said. “We knew Kentucky and Murray State would be tough to beat, but I would like for us to have been more competitive.”

Up Next

The Rebels will travel to Murray, Ky. on Jan. 22 to face No. 11 North Carolina State at 9 a.m. CT. The Wolfpack competed against Nebraska and Army this weekend, topping Army 4673-4668, but falling to Nebraska 4678-4665.

For more information on Ole Miss Rifle, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissRifle, on Facebook at OleMissRifle and on Instagram @OleMissRifle.The Ole Miss rifle team welcomed No. 3 Murray State and No. 5 Kentucky to open the second half of the 2016-17 season on Jan. 14, while fans enjoyed free Chick-fil-A and coffee.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

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