Two more SEC wins. This was the goal head
coach Mark Beyers set for the Ole Miss
women’s tennis team as they entered the end of
their difficult schedule. Yeah, afterwards I think we
kinda laid it out to the girls like, hey this is, this
is what we’ve gotta do. Him telling us that we had to
get those two wins helped us in a sense ’cause we
didn’t really have time to dwell on the past. We had to find a way
to get those two wins. And with two home matches the Rebels are reminded that
in the SEC no match is given and everything is earned. [upbeat music] As the sun rose on a new
morning the Ole Miss tennis team had their goals set as
they began their day. Get goin’!
Go Rebs! Go Rebs! The Rebels had to find the
right balance of fun and focus as they took the
court to prepare for their upcoming match. And volunteer assistant coach
Blair Shankle was ready to hit the ground running at
the early morning practice. Better set me up
with the depth Anna. Oh yeah. There we go. Get up, get up. Oh!
Anna’s too nice. No way, the leftie, no shot. It happens from time, I’m
sure everybody does it from time to time when they’re
really, you know, stretched out and that’s the
only other option. I think with Tea it’s become,
you know, like, I mean, it happens every
match, multiple times. That’s incredible. It’s always the leftie. Riah, three more. And I have to deal
with these two now. Candice, you’re in good
position on that forehand, which you were. You’re here and set. You don’t even load that,
just take it, and drive it. Yeah, good stuff, good. I think everyone was
pretty level-headed, kinda put their heads down, just worked on what
they needed to work on, and did what they had to
to prepare for Sunday. Do it! Yeah Anna! [laughing] [upbeat music] As Sunday arrived, so
too did clear skies and a determined Missouri team,
coming off of a close loss, the Tigers had
their sights set on making the Rebels their prey, and looked to start by
securing the doubles point. Anytime we play a SEC
match, it’s a big match. You know, anything can happen. That’s not a match
we can take lightly. Remember, short and
fast, short and fast. There you go. Winning doubles point,
it just means a lot. I know it only seems like,
it’s like one point out of six, but it gives us, it gives us
more confidence going into our singles match knowing
we need to only win three singles matches instead
of four matches. [cheering] Aggressive playing
by Missouri, however, gave the Tigers a 1-0
lead on all three courts. What’s up. Just hey, if you’re gonna take
it early, just shorten and just make sure it’s in front
and give it a rip, okay. Like, they’re not gonna do
much with your ball, okay, so just make sure it’s a
big target again, okay? [grunts] [cheering] Anna and Tea’s match was really
quick, which really helps, it takes a lot of
pressure off of our court when we’re working on court one. You know being able to see that, get off to a great start. And with some fancy handiwork, [cheering] the Rebels were able to walk
away with the doubles point. Winner! [cheers] Game, set, match. I felt like once we finished
the doubles point a lot of us were really happy because we had been struggling
all season with doubles, so just getting the
doubles point is really important for us. We still have that same mindset. Listen, we need everyone
of us, all six of us, to give us the opportunity
to get to four courts. So, no scoreboard watching,
you take care of business on your court, your
court, your court, your court, your court. All right, and then
we’ll worry about whatever happens at the end. So that same sense of urgency,
right from the beginning. Heeding the words
of Coach Beyers, Sabina Machalova
came out swinging and captured the
first set, six – love. When Sabina is on, and there’s no one in this
country she can’t beat. I mean, that kid is so talented. She hits, she strikes the ball
as good as anybody around, so I think she was
really feelin’ it, really feelin’ good that match. I mean, I feel good,
I played my game. She kind of didn’t know
how to answer it, so, it was my day. [laughs] Now go hit all targets,
girl, let’s go. Yeah. [clapping] With Machalova
winning on court one, and a win on court
five to shortly follow. Come on! All that was left was
Anna Vrbenska to secure the four – zero sweep. [cheering] These guys have played
a lot of close matches against some good teams, and we beat ’em up
pretty good today. And so, the same thing,
just nothing changes. We’re just every single
day, we’re coming to work, we take care of our business, and then whatever happens as
far as the result is concerned, that’s what happens, but we’re not gonna
give up on anything, we’re not letting up until the very last ball
of our seasons’ hit. I don’t have to tell you guys, I’ve told you guys many times,
anybody can beat anybody out here in the SEC this year. And that’s been proven
many, many times. Whatever rankings say,
it’s just a number. Get in here guys. [groans and laughter] Six forty-five. [team chattering] The Rebs on three,
one, two, three. Go Rebs! There are many styles
of play in tennis. There are counter-punchers, and aggressive
baseliners, to name a few. But one style of play
on the Rebels’ roster can be difficult to place. Terka throws everything,
you know, at you. You know, it’s one of
those things where she does a lot of different things. She’s like you said, she’s capable of
serving and volleying. But if she has to go side
to side at the baseline, she can do that as
well and she’ll throw, mix in some slices, she’ll
mix in some drop shots, she’ll mix in some
high spin balls. Anything, and that’s the thing
that’s her strength, I think, is that opponents don’t
know what to expect. Not a lot of like, female
tennis players play that way, and we don’t have a chance to like, practice it, like with those kind of players. You know, you can put her in
any spot in the lineup then I’m feeling comfortable because
that’s a great matchup for us because nobody knows what
to do against her, at all. And, it’s a lot of fun to
watch, because you see people just like, lose their mind. It just came from my
dad wanting me to learn every single shot
when I was little, so he put a lot of emphasis on learning how to slice,
have good volleys, being able to serve pretty well. She’s awesome. She’s funny, she’s quirky, she’s fun to be
around, she works hard. She has a great attitude. She’s a great teammate to have. We got back to practice
after those matches, we played two matches and,
she had a knee sleeve on, and I was like, “Hey what happened with that?” and then our trainer kind of
explained what had happened, and, she was still having
a little bit of knee pain. Well so, when I got here I
was really excited to start playing and we went for our
first tournament in Arkansas, and I was running
for a backhand, and it’s like, ran through that, I immediately fell down and I
knew something was wrong but, I still tried to
finish that match, but after one or two more games, our former coach Jason, he told me to stop
the match and just, just rest and take care of knee. So I went to see doctors and
they sent me to MRI and it showed it was almost
completely torn so. And so here’s a kid that
comes from the Czech Republic, and you’re here for
less than a month and you’ve got a torn ACL. And so now your, your
goals and aspirations, seem derailed or at
least momentarily. I was devastated by that
point because I was so excited to play and, about everything,
everything here at Ole Miss, I really like the
school and everything, and that was just
a big shock for me. So I went to the doctors and
they told me your ACL is torn, you need to have a surgery in
order to keep playing tennis. And at that moment, it was, it was really tough for me
because I was like well, I want to keep playing, so I
have to go through to surgery, but then I was really
scared of that. I mean, it was tough to
watch your teammate like, just struggle and not be
able to play as much as they want to or play to
their best ability, but she’s very patient. I think a lot of people in
her shoes would have given up. It’s a lot to
handle for one kid. You know, she never really
complained you know, like about the tennis stuff. She came in and got to
work whenever she could. She did whatever she could. And last year when I had
to go back to have another surgery on that knee I
was, I was really down and, I was like hey, I have
whole summer to get back, I have whole fall that I
can get ready, and I just, I just tried to not to
think about the injuries, and just try to focus on my
rehab and try to get back. [soft music] As this is really the first year she’s been able to
practice non-stop. Play non-stop and feel
pretty good physically. It’s been great. I mean, she’s just a hard worker and it’s just so much
fun to get on the court and practice with her
everyday, you know. Well it’s never easy to
recover from injuries but I’ve felt like I had, I had support from my teammates, and I really like
being at Ole Miss, so. I would say it’s been pretty
good experience so far overall. I had a lot of fun
these past years. Especially this season, like her and Mark have
been on court together. They’ve had like a, I
guess a good relationship and they’ve been working
really well together and yeah. I mean, she’s won a lot of
matches for us this year and she’s been a huge part, a
huge rock in our lineup, so. We got all the confidence
in the world for her. As the Rebels’ season
comes to a close, they had one last opportunity to take down another
SEC opponent. And that opportunity
would take the form of the number 16 ranked
Texas A&M Aggies. I was a little nervous
actually going into that match, like you said our last
opportunity to get that SEC win. Finish the season on a
good note for our seniors. Okay, it’s our last SEC match. Let’s just enjoy this
day and just fight. You know if you’re
playing one doubles more than likely they’re ranked. They’re gonna be
good no matter what. But, yeah, I just
remember the first point, she hit a return and I
looked back and saw it and that’s the hardest return
I ever seen in my life. After a slow start in doubles, the Rebels began an
attempt at a come-back. [cheering] Resulting in close matches
on all three courts. They like started coming back, and we’re like
okay, that’s great, we still have a chance to
like win the doubles point. We finished the match. I wasn’t even aware of
what’s happening there ’cause it was like
really, really close. So we’re still hoping, okay, we gonna win
overall doubles point. But the Aggies would eventually
secure the doubles point as the match headed
to singles play. I was thinking okay
this could be like, this is my last home match, and I’m never gonna get the
chance to play here again, and to compete like
in a SEC match. The team as a whole, even
after losing at doubles, we seemed pretty energetic. We were like, positive
and that day was just like I knew we gonna win. We’re playing six matches here, we have to get four, to
four points, you know. Everyone takes care
of their business. It’s, you know, we’re
gonna go home with the win. [cheering] And we won five first
sets in singles. I think we won
everything but at six. Cool. Three of the Rebels would capture
decisive second sets, putting the overall
score at three to two, and leaving Ole Miss one
match away from an upset. It was last two,
last two matches, and Terka was already
in her third set so we know we have
to focus on her. We figure out a great game
plan against this kid, and she was executing
it fantastic. And I know that she was nervous ’cause her mom was
there watching her, and she wants to
win, like so badly. [cheering] [cheering] We could not finish
better than this, especially on a senior day, like I won the match,
we won the match. Everyone is happy. I started as a
freshman with them and I really wanted to
win that match for them, so they would have good memories
on their last home match. [team laughing] First time! Rebs on three, one, two, three.
Go Rebs! A lot of times, I kind of
sing along a little bit. Oh yeah, you know all of them. The thing is like, I think
my voice is pretty good, but I think I don’t think it is, so I’m a little worried
about hearing it. Testing! We good?
Can you hear me? Yeah, that beard looks good? We’re good? All right, good.

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Dennis Veasley

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