Between The Lines

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Thumbnail image for mten_allamericans.jpgA closer look at the recently completed season for the Ole Miss men's tennis team reveals another excellent year on the courts as well as in the classroom.  Below is a breakdown of the Rebels in 2013.

The Rebels ended the year ranked No. 10 in the nation, the 15th time in the last 20 years for the program to earn a top 10 ranking.  They are one of just four schools to achieve that feat.  One of the goals every year for the team is to win the SEC West, and the Rebels did that for the 10th time in the history of the program.  That's 10 times in 12 years that Ole Miss has added to the trophy case.   It's especially significant when you consider that the SEC featured 10 teams in the final top 25, seven in the top 15 and four in the top 10. 


The Rebels earned their 20th consecutive NCAA appearance and hosted the first and second rounds for the 11th time in the 15 years of the current format.


Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz, nicknamed "Birdshark" as a duo, capped the year by advancing to the NCAA Final Four in doubles.  The outstanding duo became the seventh Rebel tandem to reach the doubles semifinals and the second in a row.  In case you missed it, here is a feature on team "Birdshark" from NCAA.com. 


Lutjen and Scholtz both ended the year ranked in the top 20 in singles at No. 15, and 17, respectively.  Together they earned a No. 4 ranking in doubles.  They are two of just six players to end the season ranked top 20 in singles and top 10 in doubles.  Scholtz finished top 20 in singles and top 10 in doubles for the second year in a row.

Scholtz and Lutjen earned All-America honors in singles and doubles and were just two of nine players in Division I tennis to achieve that feat in both.  It marked the second consecutive year for Scholtz to earn the honor in both singles and doubles.  In fact, Ole Miss was one of only two schools to have multiple All-Americans in both singles and doubles.

Ole Miss placed three players on the All-SEC team, marking the 21st straight year for the Rebels to have multiple players on the All-SEC team.  Scholtz and Lutjen made the first team, while William Kallberg made the second team.  It was the second year in a row for Scholtz to earn first team honors.

The Rebels earned the Chancellor's Cup for the 10th year in a row as the Ole Miss men's varsity team with the highest cumulative grade point average.  They posted the highest GPA (3.39) among all men's sports this spring, and the entire team made the University Honor Roll.  Senior Adrian Forberg and junior Johan Backstrom were named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team, while Forberg Skogeng was a finalist for the SEC Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award.  Lutjen and Forberg Skogeng graduated from the University of Mississippi.

Looking ahead to the 2014 season, the Rebels return four of the top six led by Scholtz and Kallberg.   Freshman Stefan Lindmark, who came up with some big wins in the clutch, will return along with Backstrom, who will be the lone senior on the squad.  Oxford native Zach Wilder and Joe Rogers will be back along with freshman Vinod Gowda, who will be eligible to play next year and is expected to contribute in singles.

Follow me on Twitter, @krebel

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