The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday.
The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be hosting the first and second rounds, their 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The women, ranked No. 20, are making their seventh straight appearance and will travel to Coral Gables, Florida, for the first and second rounds.
The men drew Alabama State in the first round, and the winner will play the winner of the other first-round match between No. 20-ranked Columbia and Georgia Tech.
Led by All-SEC first team selections Nik Scholtz and Stefan Lindmark, the Rebels finished 17-8 overall and 8-4 in SEC play, tied for fourth place in the league standings. They advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, where they fell to No. 7-ranked Georgia.
"The guys have been extremely good at handling being the favorite in some matches and also being the underdog in a couple of matches," head coach Toby Hansson said. "We have a group of guys who have been taking care of business."
Alabama State (SWAC) and Columbia (Ivy) earned the automatic bid in their respective leagues, while Georgia Tech made a run to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament to receive an at-large bid. Last year, Columbia won their first two NCAA Tournament matches in program history and advanced to the NCAA Final 16.
"When you get to this part of the season, there's not a bad team involved, so it doesn't matter who you are playing," Scholtz said. "You have to be ready and you have to be prepared. We know that, and for the younger guys, I'll make sure they know that. We're going to take it one match at a time and make sure that we can control what we control, which is to compete to the best of our abilities."
The women drew Denver in the first round, and the winner will face the winner of No. 15 seed Miami (FL) and North Florida in the second round.
Led by senior Julia Jones, the No. 9 player in the nation, the Rebels finished 15-10 overall and 5-8 in SEC play, ninth place in the league standings. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, where they fell to No. 5-ranked Florida.
"From a talent standpoint, this team has probably been the best team that I have had," said 14th-year head coach Mark Beyers. "Early on, we had to learn how to win some close matches, and when we finally did that, we started to hit our stride."
The Hurricanes, ranked No. 15 in the nation, finished 16-6 overall and 12-2 in ACC play, tied for second place in the league standings. They were upset by Florida State in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. Denver (Summit) and North Florida (Atlantic Sun) earned automatic bids out of their respective leagues.
"Miami has a great team," Beyers said. "They're ranked 15th in the country, but we have a great team, too. We have played a lot of good teams playing in the SEC throughout the year. I don't think our kids are going to be intimidated, and we're looking forward to the challenge."
With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College Station, Texas.
The Rebels finished tied for fourth place in the SEC standings, but by virtue of a tiebreaker, they claimed the No. 4 seed and a double-bye to Friday's quarterfinal round, having defeated both No. 22 ranked Vanderbilt and No. 17 ranked Florida during the regular season.
The fourth-seeded Rebels will play the fifth-seeded Commodores in quarterfinal action Friday. Vanderbilt defeated Auburn 4-2 in second-round action Thursday. In their regular-season meeting, Ole Miss shut out Vanderbilt 4-0 in Oxford.
"We have had some ups and downs," head coach Toby Hansson said. "It hasn't been a smooth ride all the way, but we learned something from that as well. We have taken the losses we have had and learned from them and moved on. We're excited to earn the No. 4 seed and head to Texas A&M."
Ole Miss is led by senior Nik Scholtz, the reigning SEC Player of the Year, and junior Stefan Lindmark, tied for the best record in SEC play with a perfect 8-0 record. Schultz, ranked No. 19 in the nation, looks to play his way back into the top 16 that would make him a four-time All-American and earn a seed in the NCAA Individual Championships.
As a team, the Rebels head to College Station making a push to host the NCAA First and Second Rounds for the 12th time and for the first time since the 2013 season. A win over Auburn or Vanderbilt would likely solidify their spot in the top 16 of the national rankings.
Last year, each of the top 16 teams earned one of the 16 national seeds, and only No. 16 seed Columbia did not host first and second round matches.
"We don't really talk about that too much," Hansson said. "We try to stay where we are. We have a tough assignment in the first round. That's what we're focused on. Needless to say, the guys are aware of the situation.
"A win would solidify a spot in the top 16, you would think. But we're going there to win the tournament. We're not happy to get by the first round. We're looking ahead. We want to go all the way, but the first match comes first, and we're going to treat that one the same way we have treated every match this season."
The reigning SEC Player of the Year, Nik Scholtz decided to return for his senior season, wanting to give Ole Miss and Oxford one more season.
Playing in perhaps his last home match at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center Saturday, Scholtz gave the home crowd another match to remember, a fitting send-off, if it was indeed his last home match.
Scholtz partnered with freshman Zvonimir Babic for a 6-4 win at No. 1 doubles, and in singles play, he won 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead on the way to a 4-0 win over Kentucky. For Scholtz, it was his 21st win in his last 22 home matches and his 80th career victory.
"Last year when I walked out of here, it was emotional, but I knew in the back of mind there was a possibility that I could come back if I wanted to, but this time there is no coming back (after the last match)," Scholtz said. "That's life. It goes on. It's time for the younger guys to step up. I feel like I gave everything I had to the school like they did for me. I'm satisfied."
Fittingly, with all eyes and camera phones on him, he served to close out his singles match, delivering the winning point after his opponent saved three previous match points.
"I told myself that if that situation came to not think anything too erratic or think too far into the future, and it's so easy that, and then when that time comes and you hear that slow clap, it's in your mind," Scholtz said. "You have to handle it. He played three good points to get it to deuce, and then I was able to come with a good serve. It was good to finish with a serve. It's the right way to end it."
"They were soaking in the atmosphere, and they deserved every bit of it," said head coach Toby Hansson of Scholtz and fellow senior William Kallberg. "It's an amazing feeling for those guys, and also for me to be part of it. It's been a privilege to work with these guys for four years."
After the winning point, he threw up his signature Landshark, fist-pumped and then hugged his current head coach, Hansson, and his former head coach, Billy Chadwick. He also saluted the crowd, hitting the ball into the stands, before exiting Billy Chadwick Center Court for perhaps the last time.
"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have been here in the first place," said Scholtz of Chadwick. "That's where it all started, and I finished on his court. That's where I played my first and last match. A lot of things came together to make it a really special moment."
Ole Miss plays their last two regular season matches on the road at South Carolina and Georgia, before traveling to College Station for the SEC Tournament. The Rebels, ranked No. 14 in the nation and now 15-6 overall, still have a chance to host the NCAA first and second rounds.
"It's good to know in the back of my mind that there's a slight possibility to play here again, and if that's not motivation, I don't know what is," Scholtz said. "I am going to do my best to make sure we get a chance to be back here for two more matches and I know the rest of the team will as well."
The No. 19 ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team is off to a 3-0 start after winning the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Gainesville, Florida, last weekend with wins over No. 13 Florida and No. 29 South Carolina. The Rebels host Troy on Monday (3 p.m. CT), their first home match, before traveling to the ITA National Team Indoor Final 16, which will be held Feb. 13-16 in Chicago.
The No. 24 ranked Ole Miss women's tennis continues play on the road, traveling to Lubbock, Texas, this weekend to face No. 29 Texas Tech on Friday (5 p.m. CT) and No. 32 Rice on Saturday (Noon CT). The Rebels return home for three matches, starting with Tulane on Friday, Feb. 13 (2 p.m. CT).
Football - Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday. - It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012. - The Rebels matched last year's win total of eight. They are 8-2 for the first time since 2003. - Ole Miss dominated every facet of the game, out-gaining the Blue Hose in total yards (640-156), rushing yards (402-89), passing yards (238-67) and first downs (22-10). - He only played the first half, but senior quarterback Bo Wallace accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and inched closer to Eli Manning's school record for career total yards. Wallace now needs only 111 yards to eclipse Manning and move into the top 10 in the all-time SEC record book. - Backup running backs Jordan Wilkins (171 yards, one touchdown) and Mark Dodson (128 yards, two touchdowns) both had career-best days. Combined, they had four runs of 50+ yards. - The Rebel defense did not allow Presbyterian to reach the red zone all day and racked up a season high-tying 12 tackles for loss.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss went on a 30-4 run over a 9:57 stretch in the first half, turning a 14-11 deficit into a 41-18 lead on the way to a resounding 97-58 win in its lone exhibition game of the 2014-15 season. - Senior Jarvis Summers lead the team in scoring with 16 points, while a trio of newcomers in Stefan Moody (14 points), Roderick Lawrence (14 points) and Terence Smith (10 points) all posted double figures. Sophomore forward Sebastian Saiz led all players with 14 rebounds.
Women's Basketball - The Ole Miss women's basketball team cruised to a 111-43 exhibition win over Christian Brothers University on Friday. - Freshman Toree Thompson led the way with 25 points and nine assists while Kelsey Briggs, Tia Faleru and Bretta Hart combined for 22 rebounds in the win. - Each of Ole Miss' six freshmen scored in the contest and each of the 13 players who played earned a spot on the stat sheet.
Volleyball - Ole Miss went 1-1 last week, defeating Mississippi State 3-1 and losing to Texas A&M 3-1, both on the road. -
With the win at Mississippi State, the Rebels have reached 20 wins for
the first time since the 2007 season, when they finished 25-8. The
Rebels swept the season series with MSU and have now won four straight
and six of the last seven meetings. - Head coach Steven McRoberts now has 16 20-win seasons in 18 years as a head coach. -
Junior Nakeyta Clair hit .492 on the week, averaging 4.38 kills per
set. She has now hit above .300 in 21 of 26 matches, including 14 above
.400. With five blocks on the week, Clair became the second player in
school history in the rally scoring era to reach 300 career blocks. -
Sophomore setter Aubrey Edie recorded a career-high 62 assists against
Mississippi State to set the single match record in the rally scoring
era and then set the single season record Sunday at Texas A&M with
53 assists. She now has 1,037 assists to date this year and needs 14 to
notch 2,000 for her career. - Freshman Lexi Thompson posted
back-to-back double-doubles and now has seven for the season. She
averaged 3.38 kills and 4.38 digs per set for the week.
Women's Tennis - Senior Julia Jones competed in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships and went 2-2 , including defeating the No. 50 ranked player in the nation and the No. 1 ranked player in Division II. - Jones finished the fall with a 10-3 record including the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Singles title.
Men's Tennis - Men's Tennis wrapped up the fall last week at the USTA Futures in Birmingham and at the Commodore Classic in Nashville. - Four players reached the final round of qualifying at the USTA Futures, while Stefan Lindmark and Gustav Hansson qualified for the main draw, with Lindmark advancing to the second round. - At the Commodore Classic, the Rebels earned 16 wins in singles and doubles.
Men's Golf - Senior Blake Morris fired an impressive, career-low, single round 7-under 65 to lead the Ole Miss men's golf team on the final day of the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational. - Morris carded seven birdies, including four in a six-hole stretch, en route to a season-high seventh-place finish, posting a three-round score of 13-under, 203. - As a team, the Rebels finished in fourth with a three-round score of 31-under, 833, tying their season-best finish as a team. - After posting a career-low single round score in the second round, sophomore Noah West carded a career-low tournament score of 8-under, 208, and tied for 15th-place.
Women's Golf - Ole Miss women's golf concluded its fall slate at the Jim West Challenge. - The Rebels placed 10th with a score of 928. Alison Hovatter and Stani Schiavone led the Ole Miss contingent, finishing 22nd with 54-hole scores of 230. - Ole Miss played one of its better rounds this fall in the final round with a 305, which is the sixth best round for the Rebels during the fall.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014
Football - No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31. - In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked to be the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes left, but ended up being a fumble, turnover and season-ending broken leg for Treadwell. - Bo Wallace continued his strong play in SEC games with three more total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) for nearly 400 total yards, and no interceptions. - Senquez Golson had an interception for the fifth straight game and is up to nine picks on the year, which leads the SEC and ranks second nationally. - Three Rebels had 100+ receiving yards (Evan Engram 123, Vince Sanders 105, Laquon Treadwell 103) for the first time in the Hugh Freeze era.
Volleyball - In their only match of the week, Ole Miss shut out South Carolina 3-0 Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center to improve to 19-5 overall and 5-5 in the SEC. With the win, the Rebels snapped a two-match losing streak and improved to 10-1 at home. - The win avenged an earlier loss this season to the Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina. - The Rebels have posted the most wins since the 2010 season, when they finished 19-11. - Ole Miss earned its first win of the season when hitting below .200 thanks to a strong defensive effort of 52 digs, including three players in double digits. - Junior Nakeyta Clair recorded three blocks to bring her career total to 299. She needs just one more to become the second player in school history to record 300 in a career in the rally scoring era.
Cross Country - The Ole Miss men's cross country team raced to a runner-up finish at the SEC Championships on Friday, tying the 1968 second-place result as the best in program history. The Rebels finished just six points behind SEC Champion Arkansas. - Junior Wesley Gallagher finished third overall in the 8K (24:21.28) to lead the Rebels. - Gallagher is the third Rebel in program history to earn a top-three finish at an SEC Championship and the first since Barnabas Kirui won the SEC title in 2010. - Freshman Sean Tobin (24:37.91) and sophomore Robert Domanic (24:38.50) clocked in at sixth and seventh, respectively, to propel Ole Miss to the historic finish. - The Rebels placed six runners in the top 29. Freshman Taylor Caldwell (25:02.17) finished 19th, freshman Mark Robertson (25:11.41) placed 25th and sophomore Trevor Gilley (25:20.63) was 29th. - Gallagher, Tobin and Domanic earned All-SEC first team honors by placing among the top seven finishers. Three All-SEC selections are the most in program history. Tobin's time was the fastest for any freshman on Friday, earning him All-Freshman team honors. Caldwell and Robertson joined him on the All-Freshman team, marking the most Rebels on the All-Freshman team in program history, as well. - The women's cross country team battled injuries and finished 12th at the SEC Championship. Senior Margaret Harkness led the way at 54th overall with a time of 21:32.18. Freshman Shelby Brown finished right behind her at 55th with a time of 21:32.95. The Rebels raced a young team consisting of six freshmen, two sophomores and a senior.
Soccer - Ole Miss closed out the 2014 soccer season Thursday night with an overall record of 8-6-5. The Rebels finished the year with a 3-2, double overtime loss against the Tennessee Volunteers. - Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick finished her career atop the all-time records list at Ole Miss in wins (42), saves (297), shutouts (22) and minutes in goal (6,839). - Head coach Matt Mott passed the 50-win mark this season, as he has averaged 10 wins a season in his first five years at Ole Miss.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels competed in the Roberta Allison Fall Classic this past weekend and picked up some more big wins, with two players advancing to the final of their respective draws and two doubles teams reaching the semifinals. - Senior Erin Stephens knocked off the No. 21 ranked player in the nation, Ronit Yurovsky of Michigan, in straight sets, and freshman Arianne Hartono defeated 42nd-ranked Georgina Petrasc of Mississippi State in straight sets.
Men's Tennis - Five members of the men's tennis team were in Birmingham, Alabama, competing in the Players' Choice Open at the Highland Tennis Center. Four players advanced to the final round of qualifying, while junior Stefan Lindmark and freshman Gustav Hansson advanced to the main draw with straight set wins Monday. They will begin play in the main draw Tuesday.
Women's Golf - Ole Miss women's golf opened its final tournament of the season Sunday at the Jim West Challenge in Bourne, Texas. - After the opening round, Ole Miss was sitting in ninth with a score of 314, and three players tied for 30th with a score of 6-over-par, 78.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Oct. 13-19, 2014
Football - Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play. - The Rebels are 7-0 for just the second time in school history. The other time was in 1962 when the team went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. - The Rebel defense held Tennessee without a touchdown and limited the Vols to zero rushing yards in yet another impressive showing. The "Landshark" defense now leads the nation allowing just 10.6 points per outing. - Senquez Golson intercepted two more passes to increase his SEC lead to seven interceptions, which ranks second nationally. - Freshman DE Marquis Haynes had 2.5 sacks (of the team's seven total) and now ranks third in the conference and tied for 10th in the nation with 6.5 sacks this year. - The Vaught-Hemingway Stadium crowd of 62,081 was third-largest in school history.
Volleyball - Ole Miss went 2-0 last week, earning a 3-1 win at Auburn followed by a 3-2 win at Alabama to improve to 18-3 overall and 4-3 in the SEC. - The win at Auburn marked the Rebels' first SEC road win of the season and snapped a three-match losing streak to the Tigers. - Ole Miss rallied from a 2-1 deficit to hand Alabama its first home loss of the season on Sunday. The Rebels have now won five of the last eight meetings against the Crimson Tide, which had an RPI of 29 coming into the match. - Freshman Lexi Thompson notched a career-high 23 kills in the win against Auburn and then posted a double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs in the win at Alabama. - Aubrey Edie tallied 48 assists at Auburn and then recorded 56 assists at Alabama, paving the way for four Ole Miss players to record double-digit kills, including Thompson, Nakeyta Clair, Melanie Crow and Ty Laporte. - Clair tallied 13 kills and four blocks while hitting .333 at Auburn. Against Alabama, she posted a team-high 17 kills, including the match clincher, and hit .560. She now has 13 matches with at least 10 kills and 17 matches with at least a .300 hitting percentage. - The Rebels, winners of three in a row, are now the only conference team undefeated at home (9-0). The Rebels currently own the best overall record in the league at 18-3 and moved up in the standings to fifth after the weekend wins. - Aubrey Edie was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. That makes five of the first eight weeks for the Rebels to earn one of the league's weekly honors. The Rebels lead the league with five different players recognized to date.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels participated in the USTA/ITA Southern Regionals last weekend in Auburn, Alabama. Junior Stefan Lindmark reached the semifinals in singles and senior William Kallberg and freshman Gustav Hansson reached the semifinals in doubles. - It marked the third year in a row and the fourth year in the last five for the Rebels to have a singles semifinalist. It also marked the fourth year in the last five for the Rebels to have a doubles semifinalist as well. - Junior Joe Rogers and freshman Zvonimir Babic teamed up for the first time to reach the quarterfinals in doubles.
Cross Country - Men - Against a field consisting of nine of the top 30 teams in the nation, the Ole Miss men's cross country team grabbed an eighth-place finish in the Pre-Nationals Invitational on Saturday. - Freshman Sean Tobin led Ole Miss in his second meet by clocking a time of 25:03.4 in the 8K, good for 48th overall. - Junior Wes Gallagher (25:12.7) and sophomore Robert Domanic (24:36.88) finished 55th and 61st, respectively, to round out the top three Rebels at the meet.
Cross Country - Women - The Ole Miss women raced a young team in the 6K, consisting of four freshmen, two sophomores and a senior. - Freshman Shelby Brown (22:46.4) recorded the best time for the Rebels for the second consecutive meet.
Soccer - Ole Miss had an 0-2 weekend, dropping a pair of road matches at Kentucky and South Carolina. -
Ole Miss returns home to host Missouri on Friday night after an
extended road swing that has seen the Rebels go almost a month without
playing a home match. - Senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick will set
the school record for shutout victories (23) with her next shutout this
season, currently she is tied with Brittany Gillespie who set the mark
in 2003. - Two of the final three regular-season matches will be at
home for the Rebels, which also host Tennessee on Oct. 30 to close out
the regular season on Senior Day, honoring McCormick.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team sent Alison Hovatter, Maria Toennessen and Sofia Idoyaga as individuals to the Mercedes Benz Championship over the weekend. - Hovatter led the Rebels, finishing in a tie for 22nd-place with a three-day score of 224. - Hovatter's 224 is a season-low 54-hole score and her second round score of 70 was a season-low for 18 holes.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Sept. 22-28, 2014
Football - No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama Crimson Tide. - The Rebels allowed just 104 total yards the entire evening, including 23 rushing yards on 31 carries. Excluding one 42-yard pass play by Memphis in the first quarter, the Rebel defense allowed just 62 total yards on the other 61 plays from scrimmage. - The 104 total yards allowed were the fewest since giving up 24 yards to Mississippi State in 2008. - Sophomore Laquon Treadwell had five catches for a career-high 123 yards and a career high-tying two touchdowns to lead the offense. - Memphis native Jaylen Walton had a game-high 78 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown. - The defense has allowed only two touchdowns this season, which is the fewest in the nation. - Ole Miss improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1970.
Soccer - Ole Miss went 0-1-1 on the weekend, splitting a match with Arkansas on Thursday before falling 2-1 to No. 10 Texas A&M on Sunday. - Sophomore forward Gretchen Harknett bent in her second goal of the season to help the Rebels play Arkansas to a double overtime draw. - Junior defender Maddie Friedmann scored her first goal of the season with a header off a double-assisted goal Sunday afternoon to put the Rebels on the board against No. 10 Texas A&M. - After the weekend, Ole Miss is now 4-1-3 at home this season with the lone loss coming at the hands of the 10th-ranked Aggies. - Ole Miss will now hit the road in SEC play and not play a home match over the next three weeks before closing things out with two of the last three matches of the season at home.
Volleyball - The Rebels dropped both their matches on the opening weekend of SEC play to fall to 14-2 overall and 0-2 in conference. - Friday, the Rebels lost a five-setter at South Carolina after having a 2-0 lead. They had match point in the fourth set, but the Gamecocks won the final three points to force a fifth set. In the fifth set, the Rebels led 12-11 but the Gamecocks won four straight points to take the match 3-2. - Against South Carolina, junior Nakeyta Clair equaled her career-high with 20 kills and hit .395, and also had four blocks. Clair ranks third in the SEC in hitting percentage at .420. - Freshman Taylor Alexander got her first start of the year against South Carolina and finished with nine kills, a .375 hitting percentage and four blocks.
Men's Tennis - Five Rebels competed in the pre-qualifying at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Freshman Gustav Hansson won his first round match, but none of the five advanced to the qualifying. The Rebels will have two players in the qualifying with Stefan Lindmark and William Kallberg in singles, and two doubles teams with Lindmark/Hansson and Kallberg/Ricardo Jorge.
Women's Tennis - Junior Mai El Kamash won three matches in pre-qualifying at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships to advance to the qualifying tournament, which begins Tuesday in Pacific Palisades, California. She improved to 4-1 on the year.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Sept. 15-21, 2014
Volleyball - Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season. - Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17). - Sophomore setter Aubrey Edie was named the Rebel Classic MVP ... Edie tallied 127 assists, (9.77 per set), to earn her fourth consecutive all-tournament honor ... The Fayetteville, Arkansas, native also posted 12 total blocks ... Junior middle blockers Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte were also named to the Rebel Classic All-Tournament Team ... Laporte finished with 34 kills and hit .500, while adding 13 total blocks to earn her third straight all-tournament honor ... Clair posted 30 kills on a .533 attack percentage and added a team-leading 20 total blocks, including seven solo. - In the win over Samford, the Rebels hit a school-record .431 with just five errors. - The Rebels rank first in the SEC in hitting percentage (.286), kills per set (13.98) and assists per set (13.06).
Soccer - The Ole Miss soccer team went 1-1 on the week with a 1-0 win at Mississippi State on Friday before falling at UCF 4-0 on Sunday. - Addie Forbus scored in under a minute to give the Rebels a 1-0 win at Mississippi State and a second consecutive win in the Magnolia Cup. - The shutout win over Mississippi State was the fourth of the season for the Rebels and 21st career shutout for senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick. - McCormick needs one more shutout to tie the career record of 22 set by Brittany Gillespie in 2003.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team finished 17th at the 2014 Cougar Classic at Yemans Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. Stani Schiavone was the Rebels' top finisher after tying for 30th-place with a three-day score of 219. - Sophomore Madisen Bentley, who is playing her first season at Ole Miss after transferring from Portland State, made her debut in the Ole Miss lineup last week. She posted her best round in the third round with a 4-over-par 76. -Rookie Sofia Idoyaga had her best round of collegiate golf to date at the Cougar Classic, posting a 3-over-par 75 in the final round, while draining a career-best five birdies.
Men's Golf - Sophomore Ben Wolcott fired an impressive 1-under-par 70 in the final round of the DICK'S Collegiate Challenge Cup to tie for 18th-place, marking his fifth top-20 finish of his Rebel career. - As a team, Ole Miss finished in eighth-place. The Rebels have placed in the top 10 in their first two tournaments of the season. - In the ACC-SEC Conference Challenge, junior Connor Davis carded Ole Miss' only win against Clemson. Davis downed the Tigers' Miller Capps 3&2 in match play.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels kicked off the season at the SEC Fall Classic in Gainesville, Florida. Junior Stefan Lindmark and sophomore Ricardo Jorge teamed up in their first tournament together to reach the semifinals in doubles, but lost a tight match 8-7(6). - In singles, senior William Kallberg advanced to the third round. Jorge finished as the runner-up in the singles consolation after they did not play the final due to Ole Miss' travel plans. One of his three wins included a triumph over the 46th-ranked player in the nation, who teammate Stefan Lindmark defeated Friday in the main draw first round.
Baseball - Ole Miss claimed the Southeastern Conference Western Division title and the overall No. 2 seed at the SEC Tournament with a series win at Texas A&M this past weekend. - The Rebels posted a 40-16 record in the regular season with a 19-11 mark in SEC play. It's the fifth 40-win series in the Bianco era and sixth in program history. - Will Allen and Austin Anderson were named semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy by the NCBWS, presented annually to the organization's Player of the Year. - Allen was also named one of 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award honoring the top collegiate catcher in the nation. - Ole Miss will open SEC Tournament play Wednesday in game two of the day against the winner of the previous day's game between Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Track & Field - The No. 18 nationally ranked Ole Miss men achieved their best finish in 30 years with a fifth-place showing at the SEC Outdoor Championships. - Senior Ricky Robertson and junior Sam Kendricks stole the show with sensational SEC titles within a couple of minutes of each other Sunday in the high jump (7-3.25) and pole vault (18-6), respectively. - Robertson earned the SEC Commissioner's Trophy for scoring the most points at the meet (23), as he placed first in the high jump, second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump. It was the second time in his career to win the award (2012 indoors), and he's the second straight Rebel to win the outdoor award (Isiah Young last year). - Kendricks set a Kentucky facility record with his winning pole vault of 18-6. He captured his first SEC outdoor title and second league crown overall. - Freshmen Robert Domanic, Sean Tobin and Trevor Gilley all scored team points for Ole Miss, led by Domanic's runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters (3:49.02) and Tobin's third-place showing in the 5,000 meters (14:16.74). - The Rebels scored 78 points, including a whopping 67 on Sunday's final day of competition. It was their second-highest point total at an SEC outdoor meet in program history. - The NCAA East Preliminary is up next. The top 48 athletes in each individual event and top 24 relays from the East region will compete May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Florida, for the right to advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 11-14.
Men's Tennis - Nik Scholtz begins his quest for a national championship as the NCAA Singles Championship begins Wednesday. Scholtz is seeded 9-16 in singles for the third year in a row. In 2012, he reached the quarterfinals. - Head Coach Billy Chadwick will be inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame on Wednesday night in Athens, Georgia. He becomes the second representative from Ole Miss to be inducted, joining 1995 NCAA doubles champion Mahesh Bhupathi, who entered the hall of fame in 2010. - Senior Johan Backstrom was named to the Capital One Academic All-District At-Large Team for the second year in a row. The Uppsala, Sweden, native posted a 4.0 grade point average this spring and boasts a 3.92 cumulative GPA. - Associate head coach Toby Hansson, who will take over as head coach after Chadwick's retirement, completed his first recruiting class last week, signing the top recruit from Croatia (Zvonimir Babic) and the top recruit from Egypt (Mazen Osama). They join Sweden's top recruit, Gustav Hansson, who signed in the fall.
Men's Golf - Junior standout golfer Blake Morris competed in the NCAA Auburn Regional in Auburn, Alabama, over the weekend. - Morris carded a three-round total of 235 and tied for 64th-place overall. - This concludes the 2013-14 men's golf season.
As we dwindle down our list of top moments from the Coach Chadwick era, which will officially come to a close at the end of the NCAA Individual Championships next weekend, today's moment No. 3 represents the true epitome of a student-athlete.
In 2009, two-time All-American Bram ten Berge was recognized by the Southeastern Conference for his excellence in the classroom. Ten Berge was honored by being named the 2009 Boyd McWhorter Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He was voted by all the Faculty Athletics Representatives from the SEC. As part of the award, ten Berge received a $15,000 postgraduate scholarship. He graduated with a 3.97 GPA, made the Chancellor's Honor Roll every semester, and was a four-time ITA Scholar-Athlete recipient.
Ten Berge not only took care of his business in the classroom, he took care of business on the court. He ended the 2009 season ranked No. 3 in the nation in doubles while spending 14 weeks ranked No. 1. As a team captain, ten Berge was an All-SEC first team selection and led the Rebels to the NCAA Elite Eight and a final ranking of No. 4.
We will conclude our top moments next week. However, we will have a couple of bonus moments that have recently come to light. Stay tuned next week to catch the remaining moments from the era of Coach Chadwick, as well as some exciting and noteworthy bonus moments.
Follow Ole Miss men's tennis on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.
Special assistance from Media Relations student assistant Wesley Boock.
In 2009, history was made at Ole Miss and in the NCAA. Not by a seasoned veteran or a fourth-year senior. History was made by an 18-year-old true freshman - he beat those more experienced players and seniors. And at the end of the day, checking in at moment No. 4, Ole Miss' freshman phenom Devin Britton was the last man standing.
In 2009, Britton became the first player in Ole Miss history to win the NCAA Singles Championship. Not only did Britton set Ole Miss records, he set new national records in doing so. Britton, who became the first American-born player in the past nine years to win the singles title, became the youngest player in NCAA history to win the singles championship. Britton became only the third freshman to ever win the national title, and surpassed a 19-year-old John McEnroe of Stanford to become the youngest ever. Britton defeated three seeded players throughout his national title run, including ending Ohio State senior Steven Moneke's 22-match win streak in the championship match.
Britton would receive a wildcard spot in the U.S. Open where he faced a player named Roger Federer in the opening round. Not to be intimidated, Britton would break the No. 1 seed twice despite losing in straight sets (as did most players at that time). Britton created a lot of buzz, but has since returned to Ole Miss to finish his degree and is assisting his former coach Billy Chadwick with the Rebel netters.
Next up, we'll recognize a prestigious award by a Rebel player for not only his play on the court, but also for his excellence in the classroom. Stay tuned to check out the winner of the highest award for a student-athlete in the SEC.
Baseball - Ole Miss maintained its lead in the SEC Western Division standings with a series win over Georgia this past weekend. - Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield continues to lead the SEC in batting average and hits, and drove in both runs in Sunday's 2-1 win in 10 innings. - Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis improved to 8-0 on the year with the win over Georgia in the series opener Friday. - With the series win, Ole Miss is now tied with Georgia in the all-time series 37-37. - Ole Miss closes out the regular season at Arkansas State on Tuesday and at Texas A&M this weekend.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels rallied to defeat No. 30 Northwestern 4-1 to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships before falling in a tight match to No. 13 Notre Dame 4-2. The Rebels' season ends at 16-14 overall. They made their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance. - Freshman Ricardo Jorge went 3-0 in singles and doubles in the NCAAs, winning both his singles matches in straight sets, to put the Rebels on the board in both matches after they had dropped the doubles point. - Senior Johan Backstrom rallied to clinch the win over Northwestern, the second time he has clinched a win in the NCAA Championships. - With the Rebels' team season coming to a close, the 35-year career of head coach Billy Chadwick comes to an end with five overall SEC championships, 10 SEC West titles, three SEC Tournament championships, 23 NCAA appearances, one NCAA finals appearance, four NCAA Final Four appearances, nine NCAA quarterfinal appearances and 16 Sweet Sixteen appearances. - Junior Nik Scholtz will compete in the NCAA Singles Championship beginning May 21 in Athens, Ga. He is seeded 9-16, marking the third straight year for the South African to be seeded.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels came back to defeat No. 26 Texas Tech in an exciting 4-3 match to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships before falling to No. 3 UCLA 4-0. The Rebels ended the season at 14-10 overall. They made their sixth straight NCAA appearance under head coach Mark Beyers. - Junior Julia Jones rallied after dropping a close first set tiebreaker to win 6-2 in the third and clinch the opening win for the Rebels. The win improved the series lead against Texas Tech to 3-1. Jones finished the year with a team-leading 27-11 overall record, 16-7 in dual matches. She earned All-SEC second team honors after going 8-5 in the SEC. Jones also teamed with freshman Zalina Khairudinova for a 15-6 record in doubles. - Junior Erin Stephens ended the year on an 11-match winning streak. - Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe ended her four-year career with an 84-58 overall record. She earned All-SEC honors twice and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Mississippi.
Women's Golf - Sophomore Abby Newton competed in the 2014 NCAA East Regional and finished 38th in the individual standings. - The Katy, Texas, native saved her best round for the final day, firing a 2-under-par 70, giving her a three-day score of 220. The 70 was her first round under par this spring. - She also nailed an eagle on opening day action Thursday, her first this season and the third for an Ole Miss player this spring.
Counting down the top moments in coach Chadwick's career, we
take a look at the 2009 Ole Miss tennis team's success along with a couple of
Chadwick led the Rebels to their fifth overall Southeastern
Conference Championship in 2009.The
Rebels won the title in convincing fashion, going undefeated in conference play
for the second time in program history.The Rebels dominated the nation's toughest conference in the regular
season as well as the postseason.Ole
Miss finished the regular season 11-0, with wins over No. 4 Georgia, No. 5
Tennessee, No. 7 Florida, No. 13 Kentucky, and No. 16 South Carolina.The Rebels continued the streak into the SEC
Tournament by going undefeated and winning the SEC Tournament Championship for
the second consecutive season, leading to Kalle Norberg earning SEC Tournament
MVP honors.Norberg went 3-0 in singles
and doubles during the tournament and also went 9-0 in the SEC in the regular
With five overall SEC Championships, Chadwick trails only
legendary football coach John Vaught for most SEC titles won at Ole Miss in any
The Rebels also advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the
ninth time in program history.The
Rebels took down two host teams en route to the Elite Eight, including LSU in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Texas A&M in College Station, Texas,
respectively.The Rebels would end the
season losing to UCLA 4-3, finishing the season 27-3 and ranked No. 4 in the
final polls.This marked the seventh
time in Ole Miss history for the Rebels to end the season ranked in the top
We will end this week with a moment that is arguably one of
the greatest individual accomplishments in the history of Ole Miss sports.Stay tuned to see who and what capped off one
of the best seasons in men's tennis history.
We begin this week jumping a couple years into 2008 for moment No. 6. The Rebels enjoyed a multitude of team and individual accomplishments during the 2008 season. The Rebels began their postseason success by winning the program's second Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship. The Rebels defeated No. 12 Florida 4-1 to take home the nation's toughest conference title. The win was highlighted by senior Erling Tveit's performance in which he took down the nation's No. 2 ranked player in straight sets to clinch it for the Rebs. Jonas Berg was named tournament MVP after going 4-0 in singles and doubles.
The Rebels continued their hot play, advancing to the Elite Eight for the eighth time in program history. The Rebels took care of business in the ninth Oxford Regional, taking down Marist 4-0 and Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, the Rebels beat North Carolina 4-2 before falling to Georgia in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Rebels finished the season ranked No. 6 in the country. This marked the 13th time in the past 15 years under head coach Billy Chadwick that the Rebel netters ended a season ranked in the top 10 nationally.
In addition to an outstanding team season overall, the Rebels would also have several individuals who saw great personal success. The Rebels made up half of the semifinal field of the NCAA Doubles Championship. Erling Tveit and Jonas Berg teamed together while Bram ten Berge and Matthias Wellermann formed another tandem. Tveit and Berg finished as the runner-up while ten Berge and Wellermann fell in the semifinals. All four players earned All-America honors which tied for most in the country by a single team.
On Wednesday, we will begin our top five with a bang. Stay tuned and check out which Rebel achieved the greatest individual milestone one can reach in all of college tennis.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 28-May 4, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss moved into first place in the Southeastern Conference Western Division with a series win over Arkansas this past weekend. - The Rebels have now won five SEC series and nine series overall this season, with two weekends left in the regular season. - Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits (77) and average (.368) after the weekend, and is in the top four in runs scored and steals. - Will Allen is second in the SEC in average (.359) and RBI (51), and is in the top three in home runs (7).
Track & Field - Ole Miss showed Saturday it belongs among the best track & field teams in the country with a strong performance at the five-team LSU Invitational, its final tune up for the May 15-18 SEC Championships. - The 16th-ranked Rebel men finished third in the team standings with 110 points behind No. 2 Texas A&M (166) and No. 10 LSU (143). No. 1 Florida was fourth (104), followed by Miami (28). On the women's side, No. 7 LSU took the title at home with 158 points, followed by No. 3 Texas A&M (135), No. 2 Florida (100), Miami (84) and Ole Miss (73). - The Ole Miss men and women finished the day with numerous personal and seasonal bests, and a total of six event victories. - Junior Phillip Young had an outstanding day in three different events. He won the triple jump with a big mark of 52-10.25 that ranks him fourth in the NCAA this year and sixth in school history. He also placed third in the long jump (24-6.25) and anchored the Rebels' 4x400-meter relay squad that finished runner-up in a season-best 3:08.38. - Freshman Robert Domanic was the top collegiate finisher in the 1,500 meters with a personal-best 3:44.78 that ranks him third-best in school history and top 50 in the NCAA this year. Ole Miss finished 1-2-3 in the 800 meters, led by freshman Sean Tobin in 1:48.79. Junior newcomers Dameon Morgan and Holland Sherrer clocked lifetime bests of 1:49.50 and 1:49.54, respectively. - On the women's side, freshmen Mary Alex England and Saga Barzowski captured event titles in the 5,000 meters and 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels earned their 21st consecutive and 23rd overall NCAA appearance. They will head to South Bend, Ind., May 10-11 for the first and second rounds. The Rebels will face Northwestern in the first round Saturday at 10 a.m. CT. The winner of that match will meet the winner of the match between Notre Dame/Wisconsin-Green Bay, Sunday at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the sweet 16. - Ole Miss is 2-0 all-time against Northwestern. In their last meeting (2007), the Rebels defeated the Wildcats 5-2 in Evanston, Ill. This will be the first meeting in the NCAA Championships. - This marks the second time for the Rebels to begin NCAA play in South Bend. The last time they did so (1995), the Rebels advanced to the championship match in Athens, Ga., site of this year's sweet 16. - Junior Nik Scholtz earned the SEC's automatic bid to the NCAA Singles Championship, and is seeded Nos. 9-16. It marks the third consecutive year for him to be seeded. The NCAA Singles Championship begins May 21, following the conclusion of the team championships.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels earned their sixth consecutive, and 17th overall, NCAA bid. They will head to Los Angeles to take on Texas Tech in the first round, Friday at 12 p.m. CT. The winner of that match will meet the winner of UCLA/Sacramento State in the second round Saturday at 5 p.m. CT. - The Lady Raiders and Rebels have met three times, with Ole Miss leading the series 2-1. Last season, Texas Tech hosted Ole Miss in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships, but the two did not meet. - Ole Miss is one of 40 teams in Division I tennis to have both its men's and women's tennis teams in the NCAA Championships. This is the sixth consecutive year both Rebel teams have made it in the same year.
Women's Golf - Sophomore Abby Newton was selected to compete as an individual in the 2014 NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., May 8-10. Newton was one of 18 individuals selected to compete. - This marks the seventh consecutive year Ole Miss will be represented at the NCAA Championships.
Softball - Ole Miss concluded its season last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn., against the then-No. 8 Tennessee Lady Vols. - Ole Miss jumped out to early leads in games one and two against the Lady Vols, but could not close out the Lady Vols in either game. The Rebels dropped the series and season finale Sunday, allowing just two runs and one hit in innings 2-6 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the first. - The 2014 Rebels (22-31, 3-21 SEC) set team program records in hits (396), RBI (217), walks (150), and tied the program record with five saves. It's the third straight year Ole Miss has increased its season hit total. - Individually, junior Allison Brown and senior RT Cantillo each logged 11-game hitting streaks, which tie the school's third longest streak. Cantillo, who was drafted in the fifth round of the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Chicago Bandits, finished the 2014 season with the second best single-season batting average in program history (.424), the fourth most hits (61), tied the fifth most runs scored (35), tied the fourth most walks (30), tied the 10th best slugging percentage (.556) and logged the third best on-base percentage (.522). Brown's 12 doubles in 2014 are tied for the sixth most in single-season history behind the 17 she hit as a sophomore in 2013. Senior Londen Ladner tied the single season record for the ninth most home runs (seven) and also tied the mark for the seventh most RBIs (34). - Ole Miss is graduating six seniors in Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra.
Switching gears to 2006, we recognize a duo of major accomplishments from Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. On March 22 of the 2006 season, Chadwick notched his 500th career win as a head coach, defeating Memphis in Oxford 7-0. The 500th win includes 107 victories as the women's head coach in which Chadwick was in charge from 1979-1986.
Additionally, in the summer of 2006, Chadwick was recognized for his impact on the game of tennis as a coach and player, as well as his consistency and longevity of success. In July of 2006, Chadwick was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, becoming only the eighth tennis inductee. Chadwick added this award to his list of accomplishments, including two-time SEC Coach of the Year.
In 2006, the Rebels enjoyed yet another successful season. The Rebs earned their fifth straight SEC West title by defeating Mississippi State 4-3, along with the program's 11th trip to the "Sweet Sixteen." Ole Miss hosted a regional for the sixth time in seven years, and defeated No. 17 Florida State 4-2 in the Oxford regional sending the Rebels to Palo Alto, California, where they would fall to No. 3 Texas. At the conclusion of the 2006 season, Chadwick and the Rebels boasted a 24-1 record against SEC West opponents since the league split in 2002.
The Rebels would finish the season 22-6 (8-3 SEC), the eighth 20-win season in program history, and ranked No. 13 in the final national rankings. The Rebels were paced by All-Americans Erling Tveit and Eric Claesson.
Next week, we near the top five moments of the countdown as we close in on Billy Chadwick's legendary run as Rebel head coach. Stay tuned to see the latest and greatest from Chadwick and the Ole Miss tennis program.
Billy Chadwick, SEC Championships, Final Fours and dramatic wins over Georgia. These are just a few of the major accomplishments that resonate throughout the Ole Miss tennis program. Chadwick has led the Rebels to these heights before and did so again in 2005. The No. 9 moment on the countdown involves all of these.
In 1995, as we have previously recognized, the Rebels beat the No. 2 seed Georgia in Athens to send the Rebels to the NCAA National Championship match. In 2005, Chadwick and the Rebels beat SEC rival Georgia 4-2 to send them to the NCAA Final Four for the 4th time in program history.
Before we recount the drama-packed Georgia win, we'll navigate through the road in which the Rebels came to the quarterfinal showdown. Ole Miss hosted its sixth regional at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center and welcomed Jacksonville State, Middle Tennessee and Auburn to Oxford. The Rebels protected their home court by defeating Jacksonville State 4-0 in the first round, and taking down Auburn 4-2 to send the Rebels to the Sweet Sixteen for the 10th time.
The Rebels then had to travel to College Station, Texas to square off against Texas Tech in the round of 16. With big performances from three-time All-American Catalin Gard, freshman Erling Tveit and Juan Pablo Di Cesare, Ole Miss advanced to the Elite Eight and set up a showdown between two of the top programs in the country with a Final Four appearance on the line.
Now, let the dramatics ensue. Down 1-5 in the third set, freshman Bram ten Berge rallied at No. 5 singles to beat Georgia's Ricardo Gonzalez and clinch the match to send the Rebels to the NCAA Final Four. The Rebels would lose a tough one to the eventual national champion UCLA 4-1 in the semifinals. The Rebels would end the season ranked No. 3 in the country.
"To be one of four teams left standing at the end of the year is a tribute to the entire team, who worked hard all year to get to this position," Chadwick said at the conclusion of the 2005 season. "We are thrilled to finish as SEC Champions and NCAA Semifinalists."
On Wednesday, we will shift focus to 2006 and celebrate an individual accomplishment; only this time, the accomplishment is not of a player. Stay tuned to see what it could be.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 21-27, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss went on the road and swept No. 17 Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend for only the third time in school history, and the first time since 2002. - The Rebels scored 39 runs on the weekend, the most in a three-game SEC series in school history. Ole Miss also tallied 49 hits and six home runs. - Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield hit .714 for the series with eight runs scored and seven RBIs to help pace the Rebels' offense in the sweep. - Ole Miss will host four games this week, including a Wednesday night contest with Southern Miss and a weekend series against Arkansas.
Track & Field - The No. 11 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's team competed at the Arkansas State Red Wolves Open this past weekend, while the Rebel women split between the Drake Relays and the Red Wolves Open. - Between the two squads, Ole Miss collected six event victories and posted some of its best results of the season. - Freshman Jalen Miller once again burned the track in the 100 and 200 meters. He placed runner-up in both events to former Rebel and Olympian Isiah Young (running unattached). Miller equaled his personal best of 10.24 in the 100 and ran 21.02 in the 200 as the top collegiate finisher. - Sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 209-7 that was just shy of his school record of 210-3. Loe has now placed in the top two at all five outdoor meets this year. - On Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, freshman Mary Alex England won the Drake Relays 10,000 meters and set a school record with her time of 34:48.66. Amazingly, it was her first ever competitive race at that distance. - Other victories for the men went to freshman Will Spiers in the 1,500 (personal-best 4:00.95), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (14.19) and the 4x400 relay (3:11.84), while Margaret Harkness claimed the women's 1,500 title in Jonesboro (4:45.77).
Men's Tennis - Junior Nik Scholtz (Caledon, South Africa) was named the SEC Men's Tennis Player of the Year last week. Scholtz is the highest ranked player, nationally, in the SEC at No. 9. He finished the regular season 15-1 at No. 1 singles, 8-1 in the SEC. - Scholtz became the fourth Rebel to earn the league's top honor, and the first player in program history to earn freshman of the year and player of the year honors during his career. - The Rebels are expected to earn their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
Women's Tennis - Junior Julia Jones earned All-SEC Second Team honors as the league office announced the 2014 postseason awards last week. Jones (St. Petersburg, Fla.) owns a team-leading 26-10 overall record, 15-6 in dual matches and 8-5 in the SEC. She posted a 4-2 record at No. 2 singles, 11-4 at No. 3 singles. Jones also went 15-5 in doubles with freshman Zalina Khairudinova, 7-3 in the SEC. - This marks the second time for Jones to be recognized by the league office, as she was named to the all-freshman team in 2012. - The Rebels have had at least one member of the squad named to the all-SEC team every year of head coach Mark Beyers' career (13 years). - The Rebels are expected to earn their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
Softball - Ole Miss celebrated Senior Weekend last week against then-No. 24 LSU by recognizing two of its six seniors - RT Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Londen Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra - prior to each game of the three-game series. - Ole Miss couldn't get its offense going in the series' opening two games though, and couldn't slow down the Tigers in Sunday's series finale. - Redshirt freshman Alyssa Invergo went 3-6 with an RBI in the series vs. LSU, while Nimmo batted in three runs over the course of the three games. - Ole Miss will close out its regular season schedule with a three-game series at No. 8 Tennessee beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Game two will begin Saturday at 1 p.m., and game three is scheduled for Sunday at noon and will be televised by Fox Sports Network.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the 2014 SEC Championships at St. Simmons Island, Ga., at the Sea Island Golf and Country Club. - Junior Joe Lewis was the Rebels' top competitor, carding a three-day total of 217 and tying for 43rd place. - As a team, Ole Miss finished in 14th with a tournament total of 875.
The Ole Miss tennis program continues it's rich tradition under head coach Billy Chadwick of producing the best player in the country's toughest conference. Today, the SEC office announced junior and two-time All-American Nik Scholtz as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. Scholtz becomes the fourth player for Ole Miss to earn the prestigious award and the first player in Ole Miss tennis history to be named SEC Freshman of the Year and SEC Player of the Year in his career.
Following an exceptional regular season, Scholtz continued his dominant play in the SEC Tournament going 2-0, and rising to No.9 in the national rankings as the highest ranked player in the SEC. Scholtz boasted a 15-1 record at No. 1 singles, including 8-1 in the SEC. The SEC currently has seven teams ranked inside the top 25 in the ITA National Rankings.
The South African native 12-time ATP Grand Slam champion Mahesh Bhupathi and three-time All-Americans Johan Hede and Catalin Gard as Rebels to be named SEC Player of the Year. Below is a quick look at all the Rebels' SEC Players of the Year.
Notes: Scholtz became the first player in Ole Miss tennis history to earn SEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year honors in his career. With the Rebels awaiting their postseason destination, Scholtz has positioned himself nicely for a run at the NCAA Singles Championship. Scholtz led the Rebels to some huge conference wins down the stretch to secure the Rebels a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st consecutive season.
Notes: Gard led the Rebels to the overall SEC Championship and their third straight SEC West title in 2004. A three-time All-American, he was also the 2004 ITA All-American Champion and ended his career as the second winningest player in Ole Miss history with 112 wins.
Notes: Finishing the season as the SEC's highest ranked player, Hede won the 1996 SEC Singles Championship and was a 1996 NCAA Singles semifinalist. He was also a three-time All-America selection as well as a three-time All-SEC selection, going undefeated in conference play in 1996. Hede qualified for the NCAA Individual Championships all four years and stands as the all-time winningest player in Ole Miss tennis history with 135 wins.
1995 - Mahesh Bhupathi Combined Singles and Doubles Record: 15-3 SEC Highest Ranking: No.1 in doubles, No. 3 in singles
Notes: Bhupathi became the first Rebel to be named SEC Player of the Year. He was the 1995 SEC Singles Champion and teamed with Ali Hamadeh to win the NCAA Doubles Championship, the school's first ever NCAA title. Bhupathi also helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Championship Final and a final national ranking of No. 3. Bhupathi has won 12 ATP Grand Slam titles in doubles.
Moving along chronologically, today we delve into the top 10 moments of Ole Miss men's tennis coach Billy Chadwick continuing with the 2005 season, which was one of the most exciting seasons in Ole Miss tennis history.
In 2005, the Rebels would capture their second consecutive Southeastern Conference Championship and fourth overall (1996, 1997 and 2004). The Rebels posted a 10-1 conference record, highlighted by wins over No. 12 Kentucky, No. 20 Auburn, No. 7 Florida and No. 20 Mississippi State. The Rebels would claim the SEC in thrilling fashion. On the last day of the regular season, Chadwick and the Rebels marched into Starkville and clinched the SEC with a 4-3 win over their arch-rival, making it the 10th straight win over MSU for Chadwick and the Rebs. The Rebels won the SEC West as well, bringing their record against SEC West opponents to a dominant 20-0 since the 2002 season.
The Rebels were paced by team captain Catalin Gard, who opened the season ranked No. 1 in the country, junior Juan Pablo Di Cesare, along with freshman phenoms Erling Tveit, Jakob Klaeson and Bram ten Berge. Di Cesare won the clincher in Starkville to propel the Rebels to the SEC title. Tveit made his presence known early and often, going 9-2 in the SEC as a freshman and earning All-SEC honors. Klaeson and ten Berge were instrumental as a doubles tandem, posting an 18-9 overall doubles record.
Winning the rigid Southeastern Conference was just the beginning of the success that the Rebels would encounter throughout the magical 2005 season. Tune back in on Friday as we divulge the depths in which this Rebel squad went in the postseason.
On this Monday we take a look at moment No. 11 of the top moments in Billy Chadwick's career. This moment encompasses a year full of great accomplishments that Chadwick made the norm for the Ole Miss tennis program.
In 2004, the Rebels enjoyed yet another extremely successful season. The Rebels won the program's third overall Southeastern Conference Championship, featuring the SEC Player of the Year, Catalin Gard, and SEC Coach of the Year, Billy Chadwick. The Rebels finished conference play with a 9-2 record, highlighted by wins over No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 17 Georgia and No. 13 LSU, including an undefeated record against SEC West foes. The Rebels spent four weeks throughout the season ranked ranked No. 2 in the country and finished the season ranked No. 5.
Senior Catalin Gard went 10-1 in league play at No. 1 singles, en route to becoming the third Rebel to win SEC POY honors, joining Mahesh Bhupathi (1995) and Johan Hede (1996). Coach Chadwick earned his second SEC COY honor (1996) after guiding the Rebels to a 22-5 overall record, a Southeastern Conference title and a No. 5 final ranking.
On Wednesday, we will break into the top 10 moments, beginning chronologically in 2005, in which Chadwick and the Rebels reached familiar and some not so familiar milestones. Stay tuned to check them out in our list of the top 10 moments of coach Billy Chadwick.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 14-20, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss went 1-2 last week vs. No. 7 LSU, dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener before taking game two and falling in the series finale. - Ole Miss became the first team in the Southeastern Conference to hit the 30-win mark with a 5-1 win over No. 7 LSU on Friday night. - Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits with 61 on the season and leads the team in hitting at a .347 clip. - Senior catcher Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBIs (42), while junior first baseman Sikes Orvis is second in home runs (9). - Ole Miss will play four road games this week, including the Governor's Cup game Tuesday vs. MSU, and a three-game series at Kentucky this weekend.
Track & Field - The No. 11 Ole Miss men had a successful week at the historic Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. - The biggest highlight came Friday when freshman Sean Tobin shattered a 29-year-old school record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:42.07. He moved up to No. 7 in the NCAA this year and is also ranked 11th nationally in the 800. - Several other Rebel freshmen stood out in California. Robert Domanic ran a personal-best time of 14:08.78 in his first college outdoor 5,000 meters to rank fifth in school history. Jalen Miller (10.30 in the 100, 21.01 in the 200) and Kailo Moore (personal-best 21.07 in the 200) shined in the short sprints. Trevor Gilley achieved a personal best in the 1,500 (3:47.43) and moved into the top 10 in school history - Senior Ricky Robertson won silver in the high jump with a clearance of 7-3.75. Junior Phillip Young recorded a season-best 51-9.75 in the triple jump and moved up to 10th in the NCAA this year and ninth in school history. Junior Robert Semien won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.07. - At the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 200-9. - The Ole Miss men and women are in action this week at the A-State Red Wolves Open (men) and the Drake Relays (women).
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-1 at the SEC Tournament, knocking off No. 18 Tennessee 4-2 in the second round before falling to No. 11 Kentucky in a close 4-2 match in the quarterfinals. - Stefan Lindmark clinched the win over Tennessee for his second consecutive clinch against an SEC opponent. He defeated Jarryd Chaplin 6-0 in the third set at No. 3 singles to clinch the Rebels' fifth straight against the Volunteers. Lindmark also teamed up with William Kallberg to upset the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the nation to clinch the doubles point. The Swedish duo handed the Vol tandem just their second SEC loss since 2012. - Nik Scholtz won both his singles matches to improve to 15-1 at No. 1 singles, including a win over Kentucky's Tom Jomby, ranked No. 11, for the second time this year. It marked Scholtz' fourth top-12 win of the season. His win over No. 27 ranked Hunter Reese gave the Rebels a 3-2 lead and set up Lindmark's clinching victory against Tennessee. - Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers improved to 9-3 overall and 7-3 at No. 3 doubles with a huge win against Tennessee. For the second straight SEC match, the duo faced match points but rallied to win 8-7(7) to set up their teammates' clinching win at No. 1 doubles.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels (13-9) dropped their opening match in the SEC Tournament second round to South Carolina, 4-2. - Junior Julia Jones won her match in straight sets to improve to 26-10 overall, 15-6 in dual matches. - Junior Erin Stephens earned her 10th straight victory.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team hosted the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss. - Junior Blake Morris finished with a two-round score of even-par 144 and claimed second-place. This marked Morris' fourth top-five finish of the season. - Morris helped lead Ole Miss to a fourth-place finish as a team, which marked the second-straight tournament the Rebels have posted a top-five finish. - The Rebels will be back in action April 25-27 at the SEC Championships in Sea Island, Ga.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team closed out action at the SEC Championships on Sunday in 14th-place with a three-day score of 925 (313-305-307-925). Abby Newton and Alison Hovatter led the Rebels with scores of 228 and 230, respectively. Ole Miss will now wait to see if it is selected for the NCAA Regionals on May 5.
Softball - Ole Miss went 2-3 last week, cruising in a home doubleheader against Alcorn State before dropping three games at No. 13 Missouri. - The Rebels were red-hot Tuesday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex as they emphatically beat Alcorn State 18-5 (5) and 13-1 (5), respectively. - Behind a season-high 18 hits, Ole Miss scored a season-high 18 runs and cruised in game one of the doubleheader. The Rebels' 18 runs scored were their highest total since scoring 22 runs Feb. 13, 2008. The Rebels scored in each of the eight innings it came up to bat in the two games combined, and of the 15 outs they recorded in game two Tuesday, 11 came by way of strikeout. - After taking a one-run lead in the top of the seventh of the series opener Friday at Missouri, Ole Miss lost 5-3 on a walk-off three-run home run. The Rebels then fell 2-0 in game two of the doubleheader despite allowing just four hits against the Tigers, which entered the series with the second most hits in the SEC. Ole Miss couldn't get its bats going Saturday and dropped the series finale at Missouri 9-1 (6). - The Rebels open a three-game home series Friday vs. LSU. Ole Miss will recognize its six seniors in the series with two seniors honored prior to the start of each game.
With Billy Chadwick's last regular season in the books, the Rebels seem to be peeking and hoping to make a final postseason run for the legendary head coach. Corresponding with such, we are also getting down to our final stretch of top moments from our beloved coach Chadwick. We begin this week with a first-time moment from an individual player from 2004.
In that season, Catalin Gard became the first Rebel to win the ITA All-American title, capturing the singles crown. Gard entered the 2004 fall season ranked as the No. 1 singles player in the country. Proving his ranking, Gard captured the year's first national title, defeating Stanford and 2004 Pac-10 player of the year, Sam Warburg in the ITA All-American Championship final. Gard would finish his career with 112 wins and earn All-America honors three-times.
Next, we will highlight a team accomplishment from the 2004 season. Stay tuned to see what else Gard, Chadwick and the Rebels accomplished in what turned out to be another championship season.
One spot in the ITA national rankings can make all the difference.
Last season, San Diego, ranked No. 44 in the country, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while crosstown rival, San Diego State, ranked No. 45, was the highest ranked team left out of the 64-team field.
Ranked No. 53 in the country and likely needing a win over No. 10 Texas A&M to keep their postseason chances alive, Ole Miss played its most complete match of the season to knock off the Aggies 4-3 in legendary head coach Billy Chadwick's last SEC home match.
After the win, as well as a doubleheader sweep of Alcorn State, the Rebels moved up 10 spots to No. 43 in the country, ahead of Thursday's SEC Tournament match against No. 18 Tennessee in Nashville. In the first meeting in Knoxville, Ole Miss won 4-1 behind wins at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles.
"If they were making the choice today, we might get in; we might not," Chadwick said. "We're ranked No. 43 in the country and traditionally they take 43 or 44 teams, in addition to the automatic bids that are ranked lower. We're walking the tightrope on it. We need to help ourselves and beat Tennessee."
Coaches often times talk about sense of urgency, such as men's basketball head coach Andy Kennedy referring to the team's 2013 NCAA Tournament run. For Chadwick, it's no different, led by the team's lone senior in Johan Backstrom and two-time All-American Nik Scholtz.
"You could see that when we played Texas A&M," Chadwick said. "They really played with a sense of urgency. We know that right now we control our destiny, and if we want to make the NCAA's, we take care of Tennessee."
"We believe we can do it," Scholtz said. "Making the tournament is another thing that's motivating us at this stage in the year. It's good to know that you're definitely in (the discussion), but the fact that we don't know if we're in the tournament is great motivation."
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 7-13, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss improved to 29-9 on the season and 9-6 in Southeastern Conference play after a pair of nonconference wins over Memphis and Murray State in the midweek and a series win at No. 13 Mississippi State over the weekend. - It marked the second straight series win over Mississippi State for the Rebels and the eighth under head coach Mike Bianco. The Rebels have won five of the last seven series against the Bulldogs in Starkville dating back to the 2004 season. - Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis improved to 5-0 on the season with a win over the Bulldogs on Friday night, working 6.2 innings with one run allowed, while junior right-hander Sam Smith turned in his seventh consecutive quality start and improved to 5-2 on the season with the win over Mississippi State on Sunday to clinch the weekend series. Smith worked 6.0 innings and allowed two runs as the Rebels defeated Mississippi State 12-2. - Ole Miss notched 20 hits in the Sunday win, the first time the Rebels have reached the 20-hit mark since recording 20 hits at Georgia on April 14, 2012, in an 8-3 win behind the arm of Ellis. - Junior outfielder Braxton Lee led the Rebels on the week, hitting .500 (12-of-24) with four runs scored and five RBI. Junior first baseman Sikes Orvis hit his eighth home run of the season with a two-run shot in the 10th inning against MSU on Saturday.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 6-0 last week, shutting out Arkansas-Pine Bluff three times, Alcorn State twice and topping No. 10 Texas A&M 4-3. The wins this weekend sent head coach Billy Chadwick and senior Johan Backstrom out on a winning note for their last home matches at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. - Sophomore Stefan Lindmark came up huge for the Rebels against Texas A&M, teaming with William Kallberg to knock off the No. 6 ranked team in doubles 8-7(5) and then outlasting A&M's Junior Ore at No. 4 singles 6-3 in the third set to clinch the 4-3 victory. - Nik Scholtz went 5-0 on the week, including a straight set win against the nation's No. 10 ranked player, Harrison Adams of Texas A&M. Scholtz improved to 13-1 at No. 1 singles and finished the SEC regular season 6-1. - Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers staved off two match points at No. 3 doubles to clinch the point, which proved to be the difference in the win over No. 10 Texas A&M. The pair are now 8-3 overall and finished 6-3 in the SEC. - Freshman Ricardo Jorge came up big in the win over Texas A&M as well, posting a straight set win against Aggie senior Jackson Withrow to improve to 11-5 overall, 6-3 at No. 5 and 5-4 in the SEC. - Head coach Billy Chadwick notched his 660th career last week and is now at 661. - The Rebels head to Nashville this week for the SEC Tournament. They will face sixth-seeded Tennessee on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the second round.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championships hosted by Mississippi State University in West Point, Miss. - As a team, Ole Miss finished in third-place with a three-round total of 2-under-par, 862. - Junior Blake Morris, who posted 13 birdies in the tournament, claimed third-place with a three-round score of 8-under, 208, marking his third top-five finish this season. - The Rebels host the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss., April 14-15.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team hosted its annual Rebel Intercollegiate last weekend and closed the tournament in 10th-place. Abby Newton and Stani Schiavone led Ole Miss with a three-round score of 222 and finished tied for 20th. - The Rebels 10th-place finish was their third consecutive top-10 finish, and their final round score of 286 was the best round of golf for Ole Miss this spring. Additionally, Stani Schiavone fired a closing round 4-under-par 68, which tied for the lowest round of the day and was her best round this season. - The Rebels will take some time off before heading to the 2014 SEC Championships. Ole Miss will compete for the SEC title and a spot in the NCAA Regionals April 18-20 at the Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
Track & Field - Ole Miss athletes won nine events and scored big points for Team Mississippi in the inaugural Alabama-Mississippi Border Clash, hosted by the University of Alabama on Friday at Sam Bailey Stadium. - The No. 13 nationally ranked Rebel men helped Mississippi prevail over Alabama 107-92 by winning seven events and finishing in the top three in several more. - Senior Ricky Robertson took a week off of his primary event, the high jump, and found much success while focusing on the long and triple jumps. He tied his personal best in the long jump to win the event with a leap of 25-0.75 and finished runner-up to teammate Phillip Young in the triple jump with a season-best 51-2.25. - Robertson is now the only athlete to rank in the top 20 in the NCAA in the high jump (1st, 7-6), long jump (14th, 25-0.75) and triple jump (16th, 51-2.25). Only three other athletes even rank in the top 20 in two of those. - Other wins in Tuscaloosa went to junior Sam Kendricks in the pole vault (18-0.5), freshman Sean Tobin in the 800 meters (PR 1:47.99), freshman Robert Domanic in the 1500 (PR 3:47.01), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (PR 13.91), and Young in the triple jump (season-best 51-3.75) and the 4x100 relay team (season-best 40.06). - Women's victories included junior Kierra White in the long jump (PR 20-6.25) and sophomore Mary Alex England in the 5000 (PR 16:51.77).
Women's Tennis - The Rebels split a pair of matches on the road, losing a heartbreaker to No. 10 Texas A&M 4-3 Friday and shutting out Missouri 4-0 Sunday. - Mai El Kamash won both her matches this weekend to finish the SEC regular season at 9-4. She is 26-12 overall, 14-4 in dual matches. - Erin Stephens won her match on Friday for her 9th in a row. She finished 7-4 in the SEC. - Julia Jones clinched the win on Sunday, to conclude the SEC at 8-5. She also teamed with freshman Zalina Khairudinova to finish 7-3 in the SEC at No. 3 doubles. - Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe received a Taylor Medal in the School of Business for her outstanding achievements in the classroom. She boasts a 3.94 GPA in Managerial Finance. - The Rebels remain in Columbia, Mo., this week for the SEC Tournament. They will face the 9th seed South Carolina in the first round Thursday at 2 p.m.
Softball - Ole Miss went 1-4 last week, splitting a road doubleheader at Southeastern Louisiana before dropping three tight, hard fought games against No. 11 Kentucky at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. - Ole Miss cruised in game one against Southeastern Louisiana on Monday to the tune of a 9-0 (6) victory. Game two proved to be a heartbreaker, however, as the Rebels lost 3-2 on a walk-off home run. Returning home to play for the first time since March 23, Ole Miss lost 3-1 in games one and two vs. Kentucky, and lost 11-4 in 10 innings in the series finale Sunday. - Senior pitcher Carly Hummel threw 17.2 innings for the week, striking out a team-high 17 batters and allowed just six runs. - Ole Miss plays again Tuesday with a home doubleheader against Alcorn State. The Rebels will then hit the road for a three-game series against Missouri on Friday and Saturday.
We begin this week with No. 13 and entering the 2002 season
for the Ole Miss tennis team.The
Southeastern Conference implemented a new setup, dividing the conference into
two divisions - SEC East and SEC West.This moment highlights the beginning of a long and impressive streak for
head coach Billy Chadwick and the Ole Miss tennis program.
In 2002, the Rebels won the first ever SEC Western Division Championship.Ole Miss finished the regular season with an
8-3 conference record and a perfect 5-0 against SEC West opponents.This would be good enough for second place
overall in the notoriously nationally dominant Southeastern Conference.The Rebels would capture the conference's
first ever SEC West championship by dominating in-state rival Mississippi State
5-1 in Oxford for the final regular season match.
Alex Hartman and Kristofer Stahlberg were named to the 2002
All-SEC team.This would mark Hartman's
third appearance on the All-SEC team.Hartman posted a 17-13 overall record, while Stahlberg finished
15-9.Additionally, Catalin Gard, Martin
Selin and Claes Lindholm had strong seasons, finishing the conference slate
8-3, 7-2 and 9-2, respectfully.
The Rebels would make their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance
in program history, all under Chadwick, and its ninth appearance in a row.The Rebels would host a regional for the
third time in history, also all under Chadwick.The Rebels defeated Middle Tennessee 4-1 to advance to the "Sweet
Sixteen" for the seventh time.The Rebels
would eventually lose a heartbreaker to No. 8 Pepperdine 4-3 to end the
season.The Rebels finished the year
ranked No. 9 in the final ITA National Rankings, marking the eighth time in
nine years the Rebels ended the season in the top 10.The Rebels won 10 SEC West Championships in
12 years under head coach Billy Chadwick, before the league did away with
divisions this year in tennis.
On Wednesday, we will jump to 2004 to highlight a special
individual moment for one of the Ole Miss tennis players.Stay tuned to see the great accomplishment as
we near the top 10 moments.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 31-April 6, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss picked up its second sweep in SEC play with three wins over the Auburn Tigers this past weekend, including a doubleheader sweep Saturday. - Left-handed pitcher Christian Trent posted a complete-game shutout of the Tigers on Saturday. It was his first complete game and his first shutout as a Rebel. - Austin Anderson hit a three-run home run Friday night in the 13th inning to propel the Rebels to an 8-5 win over Auburn in the series opener. - Right-handed pitcher Sam Smith picked up his fourth win of the season and fellow right-handed pitcher Josh Laxer snagged his fourth save in the finale against the Tigers, a 5-1 win.
Football - Ole Miss capped its physical, competitive spring practice season with the 2014 Regions Bank Grove Bowl on Saturday. Using a modified scoring system, the offense edged the defense 15-12 for the victory. - Rising junior running back I'Tavius Mathers had the highlight of the day with an impressive 96-yard run. He finished the day with four carries for 121 yards. - Rising senior quarterback Bo Wallace led the Ole Miss offense, going 10-21 for 152 yards with a touchdown. Battling for the second-string job at quarterback, redshirt freshmen Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade each had strong moments Saturday. Buchanan went 6-10 for 100 yards, including a 45-yard completion to rising sophomore running back Mark Dodson. Kincade finished 5-8 for 57 yards and a score, and also logged six carries for 38 yards. - Graduate student linebacker Deterrian Shackelford was named this year's Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner, becoming the first ever two-time recipient. He will wear Mullins' No. 38 jersey this fall. - Rising senior wide receiver Collins Moore received the Eli Manning Award (most improved offensive player of the spring), and rising senior defensive back Cliff Coleman earned the Jeff Hamm Memorial Award (most improved defensive player of the spring).
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team hosted its annual Rebel Intercollegiate last weekend and closed the tournament in 10th-place. Abby Newton and Stani Schiavone led Ole Miss with a three-round score of 222 and finished tied for 20th. - The Rebels 10th-place finish was their third consecutive top-10 finish, and their final round score of 286 was the best round of golf for Ole Miss this spring. Additionally, Stani Schiavone fired a closing round 4-under-par 68, which tied for the lowest round of the day and was her best round this season. - The Rebels will take some time off before heading to the 2014 SEC Championships. Ole Miss will compete for the SEC title and a spot in the NCAA Regionals April 18-20 at the Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.
Track & Field - Sophomore Nathan Loe broke his own school record in the hammer throw (210-3), and Ole Miss athletes collected 13 event titles at the Mississippi College Twilight Invitational on Friday evening. - Other highlights for the No. 12 ranked Rebel men, who only sent a portion of the team to the meet, included Robert Semien winning the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.15 that matches his season best. Other wins went to Max Holman in the 1500 meters (4:02.18), Ian Carter in the 5000 meters (15:23.77) and Marcus Franklin in the discus (151-11). - The Rebel women were led by long jumpers Kierra White, Kennadi Bouyer and Shari Russell, who finished 1-2-3 with some big jumps. White leaped to a season-best 20-1.75 that will rank her among the top 25 nationally. Bouyer posted a mark of 19-6.25 and Russell 19-5.25. White now ranks No. 8 in Rebel history, while Bouyer joins Russell on the list of the top-15 long jumpers all-time. - Ole Miss is back in action Friday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Alabama-Mississippi Border Clash featuring Alabama, Auburn and Samford against Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss.
Women's Tennis - The No. 24 Rebels went 1-2 last weekend, falling to No. 40 South Carolina 4-2 and No. 7 Florida 4-2, before shutting out Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-0. The Rebels did not drop a single game in the win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Ole Miss concluded its home schedule 8-4. - Junior Julia Jones came up with the biggest win of her career, defeating No. 23 ranked Alex Cercone of Florida for her sixth win in a row. She is now 24-9 overall and 11-4 at No. 3 singles. She has not dropped a set in her 24 wins. - Erin Stephens has won eight in a row, including beating nationally-ranked Belinda Woolcock of Florida in straight sets to keep the Rebels' hopes alive in the match. - The Rebels are at Texas A&M Friday night followed by a trip to face Missouri on Sunday to close out the regular season.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 0-2 last weekend, falling to No. 40 South Carolina 4-2 and No. 15 Florida 4-1. - Nik Scholtz suffered his first loss at No. 1 singles in the match against South Carolina, but rebounded nicely on Sunday to post his 10th win at No. 1 singles. He is one win away from 20 for the year. - The Rebels close out their home schedule this week beginning with a tripleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Wednesday at 10 a.m. On Friday, the Rebels will welcome No. 10 Texas A&M and celebrate Senior Day for the Rebels' lone senior Johan Backstrom. The match begins at 2 p.m., and there will also be a celebration of Coach Chadwick's last home weekend with fans receiving a commemorative Billy Chadwick Stadium Cup. Sunday, the Rebels will host Alcorn State in a doubleheader at 10 a.m.
For today's midweek moment, we highlight No. 14 on our list. This features the run to coach Billy Chadwick's third NCAA Final Four appearance in 1999, which is also marked the third appearance in Ole Miss tennis history.
The road to the NCAA Final Four was an exciting one for the Rebels. After winning the Oxford regional, the Rebels faced rival, Mississippi State, in the Sweet Sixteen. The Rebels would take down the Bulldogs 4-2, advancing to face the No. 2 team, Illinois. Despite losing to the Illini in the National Team Indoor earlier in the season, the Rebels would win the one that mattered most. The Rebels defeated the Illini 4-3 to advance to the Final Four. The Rebels would lose to Georgia in the semifinals 4-1, as Georgia proceeded to win the national championship.
The Rebels finished the season with a 21-6 overall record, 9-2 in the SEC, and a Final Four appearance. Ole Miss ended the year ranked No. 3 in the country in the final ITA National Rankings. This was the fifth time that Chadwick and the Rebels have ended a season ranked in the top 5 nationally. It also marked the sixth straight season for the Rebels to finish ranked in the top 10. The Rebels earned 11 wins over teams ranked in the top 25 throughout the year.
James Shortall and Martin Sjoqvist (2nd year) were named All-SEC first team in doubles, as Shortall made the first team in singles as well. This was the sixth consecutive year for the Rebels to have a player represented on the All-SEC first team.
The 1999 Final Four appearance placed Chadwick in elite company, as he would become one of three active coaches to reach three or more Final Fours.
On Friday we will advance to 2002, the first year for SEC Western and SEC Eastern Divisions. Stay tuned to see how the Rebels fared.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 24-30, 2014
Track & Field - The No. 12 Ole Miss men claimed three event titles at the prestigious Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, highlighted by junior Sam Kendricks' world-leading pole vault. - Kendricks easily won against an elite field of pole vaulters with his mark of 18-8.25 that ranks No. 1 in the world. He attempted to break his own school and meet record when the bar was raised to 19-1, but he was unable to clear that enormous height. - Senior Ricky Robertson won the high jump with a season-best leap of 7-6 that ranks him No. 1 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the world this year. - The distance medley relay team of freshman Robert Domanic, senior Montez Griffin, freshman Will Spiers and freshman Sean Tobin won with a time of 9:39.51 that ranks them No. 2 in school history. They also won that race to claim an SEC title during the indoor season. - Another strong performance came from junior Phillip Young, who placed fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 51-2.75 that ranks him No. 7 in the NCAA. He also ranks eighth nationally in the long jump. - The Rebels return home this week to host the Ole Miss Invitational on Saturday. Former Rebs and current pros Brittney Reese and Isiah Young are expected to compete alongside the collegians.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team picked up its second consecutive top-5 finish by taking fifth-place at the Aunenue Spring Break Classic in Hawaii. Junior Stani Schiavone led the Ole Miss contingent with an 11th-place finish for her second consecutive top-15 finish. - Kaitlin Voll, competing as an individual, recorded her first career top-20 finish, closing the weekend in 16th. She fired three straight rounds of 75, which ties her career low for 18, and her three-day total of 222 is a new career low for 54 holes. - The Rebels will host their lone home event this weekend as they host the 2014 Rebel Intercollegiate. Ole Miss welcomes 17 teams to the Ole Miss Golf course this weekend for the sixth annual event.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels are knocking on the door of the top 25, as they moved up to No. 26 in last week's ITA Rankings. - The Rebels defeated Mississippi State 4-2 to win their 25th in a row against the Bulldogs. After dropping a close doubles point, the Rebels picked up straight set singles wins at 3-6. - With the win, the Rebels improved to 11-5 overall and 5-4 in the SEC. It marked the team's fourth straight SEC victory and fifth win overall in their last six matches. - Erin Stephens got the party started by winning her sixth in a row to put the Rebels on the board against State. - Mai El Kamash has won seven straight and is 11-3 on the season at No. 4 singles. - Iris Verboven clinched the MSU win and improved to 8-0 at No. 6 singles. She has now clinched two of the last three SEC wins for the Rebels. - The Rebels host South Carolina on Friday at 3 p.m., followed by a doubleheader with Florida and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m., to close out the regular season home schedule.
Baseball - Ole Miss is 21-8 on the season and returns home for four games this week, including a weekend series against the Auburn Tigers. - Senior infielder Austin Anderson leads the Rebels at the plate, hitting at a .368 clip with a team-leading 25 runs scored. - Junior outfielder Braxton Lee leads the Rebels in swiping bases, stealing successfully on 11-of-14 attempts this year. - Ole Miss has 20 home runs this season, three shy of the total mark set through 62 games in the 2013 season.
Football - Ole Miss wrapped up its third week of spring practice with a competitive scrimmage Saturday. - The defense edged out the offense in the scrimmage, thanks mostly to a series of big turnovers forced by the "Landshark" D. Among them were a pick six by Cody Prewitt and fumble recoveries for touchdowns by Serderius Bryant and Bryon Bennett.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 3-1 last week, sweeping Jackson State three times and then losing a tight match to No. 17 Mississippi State, 4-2 on Sunday. - The Rebels won the doubles point for just the fourth time all season and the second time in SEC play. - Nik Scholtz has won 10 in a row since mid-January and is 9-0 at No. 1 singles, 4-0 in the SEC. Seven of his matches have not finished, including Sunday's match where he was serving for the win in the third set. - The Rebels are on the road this weekend at South Carolina and Florida.
Softball - Ole Miss moved to 19-18 on the season and 3-9 in SEC play after falling on the road at UT Martin and in a three-game set at South Carolina. - Junior pitcher Lauren Lindsey, starting her second game of the season, pitched a career-high 6.2 innings in a 3-2 loss at UT Martin. She allowed just one earned run and struck out three. - Ole Miss got a lead early and plated five runs in each game of Saturday's doubleheader at South Carolina, but could not cool off the Gamecocks' bats and dropped a pair of games. Ole Miss lost game one 9-5 and fell in game two 13-5 (6). - Sophomore designated player Madi Osias led the Rebels offensively in game one with her first career grand slam, while freshman catcher Courtney Syrett led the Rebels offensively in game two, going 2-3 with a season-high two RBIs and a season-high tying two runs scored. She also hit the first home run of her career. - Senior first baseman Londen Ladner led the Rebels in their series finale Sunday at South Carolina by going 2-4 with four RBIs, one run scored and one home run. It was the fourth game this season in which Ladner has driven in four or more runs. Ole Miss lost the finale 7-6.
To begin this week, we break into the top 15 moments of the Billy Chadwick era here at Ole Miss. As we move chronologically toward the present day, moment No. 15 will reside in the year of 1999. In that year, the Rebels achieved a milestone as a program, for the first time in its illustrious history.
In 1999, the Rebels were selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center became the site of the first ever NCAA Division I Tennis event inside the state of Mississippi. The Rebels earned the No. 6 overall seed in the NCAA field of 64. The Rebels welcomed to Oxford the United States Naval Academy, South Alabama and Virginia. The Oxford community came in droves to support their team at the first-class facility, drawing crowds of nearly 800 people.
"The visiting teams were impressed with our campus and facilities, the town of Oxford, and the great crowds," said Ole Miss coach Billy Chadwick after his team went 2-0 in the regional to advance to the "Sweet Sixteen." "Our facility really puts the fans on top of the action and makes for a very exciting environment for collegiate tennis."
The Rebels would cruise past the Midshipmen in the first round 4-0, and advanced to the second round against South Alabama. In the deciding match, the Rebels took the doubles point, consolidated with wins in singles at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 for the 4-0 win. Junior Swede Martin Sjoqvist took down Paul McInerney of South Alabama to clinch the match for Ole Miss and send them to their sixth consecutive "Sweet Sixteen."
Since that year, the Rebels have hosted 10 times in the last thirteen years. That is just another example of the consistency that Chadwick has provided throughout his great run as leader of the Ole Miss tennis program. On Wednesday, we will present another big in 1999. Stay tuned.
For moment No. 16 and our last moment in 1997, we recognize an individual accomplishment that not only impacted Ole Miss, but was felt all around the world. A familiar name to the Ole Miss family, Mahesh Bhupathi took his game, his country, and his name to another planet in the tennis stratosphere.
In 1997, two years removed from the National Championship in doubles and leading the Rebels to the National Championship match, Bhupathi became the first player in Ole Miss tennis history to win a Grand Slam tournament. Additionally, the 23 year-old Bhupathi also became the first Indian to ever win a Grand Slam title. Bhupathi teamed with Japan native Rika Hiraki to win the French Open in mixed doubles. Bhupathi and Hiraki defeated a pair of Americans, Patrick Galbraith and Lisa Raymond, 6-4, 6-1.
For those curious, Bhupathi and his French Open run was not what people like to call a "one hit wonder." Bhupathi has since earned 12 total Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles. He has won multiple titles at every Grand Slam tournament (Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open, and Wimbledon). Bhupathi's last Grand Slam win was in 2012 at the French Open. He paired with Mumbai native Sania Mirza to beat Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Santiago Gonzalez.
Bhupathi has earned over 6.5 million dollars in prize money, and at 39 years young, continues to be known as one of the best doubles players on the professional circuit, as evidenced by his prestigious awards and accomplishments. In September of 2013, Bhupathi was ranked No. 10 in the world in doubles. He has been ranked as high as No. 1 in April of 1999.
On March 1, 2014, Bhupathi's professional tennis league, the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), made a splash towards making a name for itself. The world's No. 1, 2, 3 players signed up for participation in a league tournament. This included Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka. Additionally, Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka also participated in the tournament. This is a true testament to the respect that Mahesh has from all of the top players in the world to be able to draw such a star-studded lineup.
Arguably the greatest tennis player of all-time, Roger Federer is also very impressed with what he has witnessed from Bhupathi. "I have high respect for him," said Federer. "He's been around for such a long time. He has always been very nice and intense on the court, but very laid back off. "He is one of the best guys in the world of all-time." It is safe to say that Mahesh has represented Ole Miss and India in an overwhelming way.
Monday, we will break into the top 15 moments in Ole Miss tennis history moving to 1999. Stay tuned to see how Coach Billy Chadwick and the Rebels take the next step as a tennis program.
The Ole Miss men's tennis team saw its 26-match win streak against arch-rival Mississippi State come to an end on April 16, 2011. Since that day in Starkville, the series has been back and forth, with the Bulldogs winning each of the next three, and then the Rebels winning the last two.
The two teams meet for the first time this season, as Ole Miss welcomes No. 17 Mississippi State Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The Rebels took two of three from the Bulldogs last season, including a come-from-behind 4-2 win in Starkville in their most recent meeting.
"Every match against Mississippi State is a big one," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "This one is really shaping up to be special. It has some big ramifications as far as SEC seeding and NCAA selection, so we're looking forward to Sunday."
Junior Nik Scholtz has an impressive streak in his own right, having won 10 straight matches dating back to mid-January. He has also moved up 28 spots to No. 16 in this week's ITA Singles Rankings.
Scholtz is 9-0 in dual singles matches and 4-0 in SEC play at No. 1 singles. At 4-0 in SEC play, he is the only SEC player who has played every league match at No. 1 to remain undefeated.
"He's getting better with every match," Chadwick said. "He has a great approach, as far as his mentality in these matches. The difference is he's much more determined on every single point."
"One of my goals is to go undefeated in the SEC," Scholtz said. "That's been a goal of mine every year. I haven't been able to do it yet. Hopefully, I can do it now. If I take care of winning my matches, the ranking will take care of itself, so I wasn't too concerned about that. I was more concerned about winning and doing what I have to do when I'm on the court."
For Scholtz, a Caledon, South Africa native, he has become immersed in the rivalry, having played five previous matches against Mississippi State -- two at River Hills Club in Jackson and one each in Oxford, Starkville and Seattle, where the schools matched up in the ITA National Team Indoor last season.
"Before I came here, I never knew what it was," said Scholtz of the rivalry. "It's one of the first things you learn. When you play State, it's one of the biggest matches there is. It brings a little bit extra out of everyone, that's for sure. I can't wait for Sunday."
With baseball, softball and track all on the road this weekend, Sunday's men's tennis match is the only game in town, and both Chadwick and Scholtz anticipate a large crowd.
"The matches that we have been successful here, I give the fans the credit," Chadwick said. "If we are going to take down Mississippi State, we're going to need a big crowd here. I would like to see one of the largest crowds we have ever had."
"It always helps, especially having people that you know are behind you," Scholtz said. "When you play an away match, you kind of hope no one is there. When you play at home, the more people you have out there supporting you, the better. That's why you play the game and practice every day, to master your craft and then to come out and show everybody what you're capable of doing. It's more motivation. You try to please yourself and your school, but also the people watching you."
Our midweek moment features No. 17 and encapsulates the overall success Coach Billy Chadwick and the Ole Miss tennis team experienced in 1997. The Rebels, as we have mentioned, enjoyed one of the supreme seasons in tennis program history. In 1997, the Rebels finished the season 25-4 and ended the season in the top five for the third year in a row, ranked No. 4 nationally.
That year the Rebels earned an automatic trip to the NCAA Finals as the No. 2 seed in Los Angeles, Calif. In the first round, the Rebels took down UC-Santa Barbara 4-0 followed by a 4-3 victory over Boise State, clinched by Sebastien DeChaunac, in the second round. That win placed the Rebels in the semifinals for the second time in program history (the first being in 1995). The Rebels would come up just short losing 4-2 to the eventual national champion Stanford Cardinals.
Additional notable accomplishments included Johan Hede, who ended a brilliant career as the winningest singles player in Ole Miss history. Hede boasted a 135-41 singles record and earned All-SEC and All-America honors for three straight years. Also in 1997, DeChaunac reached the NCAA singles semifinals, the farthest for any player in the SEC that year. DeChaunac finished the year as the nation's No. 2 singles players, and became the fifth Rebel in the last four years to reach at least the semifinals in the individual competition. Johan Landsberg also had a stellar senior year, earning All-America honors with a 38-8 singles record and a 23-1 record in dual matches.
Not to go unnoticed, the Rebel tennis team earned a 3.51 team GPA and was named an ITA All-Academic team, with the highest GPA of any other nationally-ranked team. The Rebels epitomize excellence on and off the court to the highest degree.
Stay tuned on Friday as we finish 1997 with a bang, honoring an individual achievement that broke new barriers for the Ole Miss tennis program worldwide.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 17-23, 2014
Track & Field - The Rebels began the 2014 outdoor season inside the friendly confines of the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex on Saturday, and produced a few record-breaking performances to kick off the season in strong fashion. - Junior All-American Sam Kendricks broke his own facility record in the pole vault yet again with a mark of 18-2 to crush the field of competitors. - Senior All-American Ricky Robertson was back in action for the first time since 2012 and returned in good form by tying his own facility record in the high jump at 7-5, easily winning the meet. He also placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 23-6.75. - Sophomore Nathan Loe, a transfer from Illinois, made his Rebel outdoor debut a memorable one by setting a school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 202-1. He bested the previous record of 201-7 by Stacy Andrews in 2003. - Freshman indoor All-American Jalen Miller also had a memorable outdoor debut, winning the 100 and 200 meters, and anchoring the victorious 4x100-meter relay team. His time of 10.29 (that beat such competitors as Olympian Isiah Young and All-American Mike Granger) ranks him No. 6 on the Rebels' all-time outdoor chart. - Ole Miss is back in action this week at the Texas Relays in Austin, Wednesday-Saturday.
Baseball - Ole Miss improved to 21-4 on the season with a perfect 4-0 week that included a series sweep of Missouri - the only sweep in SEC play this week. - The Rebels posted two come-from-behind wins to bring the season total to nine come-from-behind wins to date. - Ole Miss also improved to 8-1 in one-run games this year with a pair of 4-3 wins this past week. - Sikes Orvis hit three home runs on the weekend to bring his season total to a team-leading six home runs. - Ole Miss has 19 home runs through 25 games this season. The Rebels only hit 23 total home runs all of last season.
Softball - Ole Miss went 3-1 for the week and improved to 19-14, 3-6 SEC. The Rebels won a mid-week home game against Louisiana Tech before then winning an SEC home series over Arkansas. - The Rebels opened the week Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over Louisiana Tech in which pitchers Carly Hummel, Shelby Jo Fenter and Madi Osias combined to throw a no-hitter. It was the sixth no-hitter in program history, and the first combined no hitter in Ole Miss history. In all, Ole Miss retired the first 19 batters of the game in order. - The Ole Miss bats started hot and stayed hot throughout the Rebels' series-opening 11-4 victory over Arkansas on Friday evening. Each of the Rebels' first four batters in the lineup hit home runs, and 10 of the Rebels' 11 runs in the game came with two outs away. - Trailing 5-0 in game two against Arkansas, Ole Miss rallied to score 13 runs in four innings to win 13-6 Saturday afternoon. Ole Miss entered the bottom of the third inning trailing Arkansas 5-0, but rallied to plate four runs in the third inning, two runs in the fourth and fifth innings, and then another five runs in the sixth inning. - Ole Miss faces UT Martin on the road Tuesday before traveling to South Carolina for an SEC road series against the Gamecocks.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 2-0 last weekend, beating Arkansas 4-2 and LSU 4-1. The Rebels improved to 10-5 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. - The Rebels have now won three in a row in the SEC and four of their last five matches overall. They have also won three straight against LSU. - Julia Jones earned her 20th win of the year in the win over LSU. She also teamed up with Zalina Khairudinova for their 13th win in doubles. - Iris Verboven improved to 7-1 in dual matches and 7-0 at No. 6 singles. - Mai El Kamash won twice to improve to 10-3 at No. 4 singles. She has won six matches in a row. - The Rebels continue on the road at arch-rival Mississippi State Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Football - An energetic scrimmage witnessed by fans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium capped the Rebels' second week of spring practice on Saturday. - Trae Elston broke up a pass on the last play of the organized scrimmage, helping the defense defeat the offense, 15-14. - Ole Miss is scheduled to practice four more times this coming week, highlighted by another Saturday morning session open to the public.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-2 last week, losing to No. 4 Southern California 5-2 before defeating Arkansas 4-2 and falling to LSU 4-1. - The Rebels have now won 27 straight matches against Arkansas. - Nik Scholtz has won eight in a row and improved to 7-0 at No. 1 singles, 4-0 in the SEC. He continued his winning ways last week, knocking off the No. 11 ranked player against USC and then winning twice over the weekend. - The Rebels face Jackson State on Tuesday before hosting arch-rival Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
We begin this week honoring another first for Billy Chadwick and the Ole Miss tennis program. I know by now it seems like there isn't much left to accomplish. However, in 1997 the Rebels won the program's first ever Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship. We mentioned in our previous moment how difficult the SEC was every year, especially in 1997, with six teams in the final top 10 rankings, making this accomplishment even more significant.
The Rebels went undefeated in the SEC Tournament in Columbia, S.C., taking down three ranked teams in the process. Ole Miss defeated No. 21 Alabama 4-0, No. 16 Florida 4-1, and No. 2 Georgia 4-2 to claim the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship. The Rebels were led by returning All-Americans Johan Hede and Johan Landsberg, as well as SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player Sebastien DeChaunac.
"This was another outstanding year for the Ole Miss tennis program," said Ole Miss coach Billy Chadwick in 1997. "We won the SEC Tournament as well as the overall SEC Championship, claimed the Blue/Gray National Championship and once again positioned ourselves for a run at the National Championship."
The Rebels finished the year with a 25-4 record, along with a superb Southeastern Conference record of 12-2. On Wednesday, we will divulge more details of the Rebels postseason run and how the overall record came to fruition. Stay tuned for our last moment of 1997 as we reminisce another exciting team accomplishment.
Continuing with 1997, we reveal moment No. 19 in our chronological countdown of the top moments in Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick's tenure. Today, we highlight one of the prestigious team moments that the Rebels encountered that year.
It is well documented how difficult and rugged the Southeastern Conference is; there are no bad teams. Not only are the teams not bad, the majority of the teams annually rank among the nation's top 25 in the country. In 1997, the SEC had six teams finish in the top 10 of the ITA national rankings. In that same year, the Rebels captured the overall SEC Championship for the second straight year.
The Rebels posted a 12-2 conference record on their way to becoming champions of the best league in college tennis. The Rebels led the SEC with three players named to the All-SEC First Team: Johan Hede (third consecutive year), Johan Landsberg, and Sebastien DeChaunac. The Rebels ended conference play, including the SEC Tournament, on a 10-game winning streak that included wins over No. 30 Florida (4-2), No. 3 Mississippi State (5-2), at No.5 Kentucky (6-1) and No. 2 Georgia (4-2). The Rebels finished the season 25-4 overall, 12-2 in the SEC.
With three additional moments from 1997 that even further proves the Rebels as one of the top programs in all of college tennis, do not miss out on the remembrance of these great events. Stay tuned.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 10-16, 2014
Track & Field - Ole Miss finished tied for 24th in the final men's team standings at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. - It was the second straight top-25 NCAA indoor finish and third straight top-25 NCAA finish overall for head coach Brian O'Neal's men. The Rebels placed 23rd at last year's indoor meet and a program-best eighth at last year's outdoor championships. - Junior Sam Kendricks finished runner-up in the pole vault at the conclusion of a world-class duel between the top American and top Canadian vaulter, Akron's Shawn Barber. - Kendricks matched his own school record and the best mark by an American this year at 18-8.25, but Barber was one bar better at 18-10.25 (a new Canadian national record). - Freshman Jalen Miller advanced to the final of the 60-meter dash, where he placed eighth to score one team point for the Rebels. He's the first Ole Miss men's freshman to score points in the 60 at the NCAA indoor meet since teammate Mike Granger in 2010. - The Rebels begin outdoor season this week when they host the Ole Miss Open on Saturday at the Ole Miss Track & Field Complex. Admission is free.
Baseball - The Rebels went 3-2 in week-five action, taking both games at Southeastern Louisiana before dropping the series at top-ranked South Carolina. - Auston Bousfield hit the first grand slam of his career to push the Rebels to a 6-4 win at No. 1 South Carolina in the series opener Friday. - Ole Miss returns home from a five-game road trip to host Arkansas State and Missouri this week at Swayze Field.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss knocked off Mississippi State 78-66 in the second round of the SEC Tournament Thursday before falling to Georgia 75-73 in the quarterfinals on Friday. - Senior Marshall Henderson and junior Jarvis Summers each scored 21 points as the Rebels rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat Mississippi State. Henderson hit seven 3-pointers on an SEC Tournament record 19 attempts in the game. - Henderson and Summers combined for 45 points, but the Rebels fell to Georgia 75-73 in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. - Henderson finished his Ole Miss career with a 3-pointer in an SEC record 66-straight games and ranks third on the Rebel career list with 267 3-pointers.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels split their weekend matches, downing No. 23 Vanderbilt 4-1 and then falling in a close match to No. 15 Kentucky 4-1, to conclude their four-match SEC road trip 2-2. - Nik Scholtz rallied to knock off the nation's No. 10 ranked player, Tom Jomby, of Kentucky, handing the Wildcat just his second loss of the season. It marked the first ever meeting between the two players. Scholtz was also leading 16th-ranked Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt when play was stopped after the Rebels clinched the match. Scholtz is 4-0 at No. 1 singles with six unfinished matches on the season. - Freshman Ricardo Jorge won his match against Vanderbilt at No. 5 singles in straight sets to set up his teammate's match-clinching win. Jorge improved to 4-1 at No. 5 singles. - The Rebels begin a five-match home stand Wednesday, hosting No. 5 Southern California at 2 p.m. at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 2-1 last week, downing VCU 6-1, falling in a very close match to No. 11 Vanderbilt 4-3 and then defeating No. 24 Kentucky 4-2 to end the week. The Rebels (8-5, 2-4 SEC) have now won six-straight against Kentucky. - Freshman Zalina Khairudinova picked up two ranked wins last week, beating 73rd-ranked Cindy Chala of VCU and 63rd-ranked Georgina Sellyn of Vanderbilt. Khairudinova also won in straight sets Sunday to clinch the win against Kentucky. She improved to 5-3 at No. 1 singles. - Khairudinova and junior Julia Jones improved to 12-3 overall in doubles, 9-3 at No. 3. - Sophomore Mai El Kamash became the first 20-match winner of the season, with her comeback win at No. 4 singles against Kentucky.
Rifle - Freshman Alison Weisz shot a 587 to finish 16th in air rifle in her first ever NCAA Championships. - She ended the year with a team-leading 586.5 average in air rifle, including a career-best 594 at Memphis, one off the school record. She averaged 589.7 in her last eight matches. - Weisz became the first freshman in the history of the program to qualify for the NCAA Championships as well as earn all-conference honors.
Softball - Ole Miss opened with a midweek, road doubleheader at ULM and closed it out with a tough three-game series at home against No. 9 Alabama, finishing 1-4 for the week. - Redshirt-freshman second baseman Alyssa Invergo led Ole Miss at the plate throughout the week with a team-high seven hits, highlighted by a double, a pair of home runs, a team-high six runs and a team-high tying four RBI. - After dropping the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader at ULM, Ole Miss rebounded in a big way to dispatch the Warhawks 11-1 in five innings, including 10 runs in the final three innings of the game. - Ole Miss will remain in Oxford this week when it hosts Louisiana Tech on Wednesday, followed by a three-game series against Arkansas beginning Friday. The Rebels and Razorbacks' game Sunday will be featured on Fox Sports at 3 p.m. CT.
Women's Golf - The Ole Miss women's golf team picked up its first top-five finish of the spring, taking fourth at the 2014 Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz. Sophomore Abby Newton led Ole Miss carding a three-day score of 221 (76-72-72--221). The Rebels' top-five finish was their first since taking runner-up honors at the Tar Heel Invitational last fall. - The Rebels had two eagles on the weekend. Juniors Stani Schiavone and Taelor Rubin both carded eagles on the weekend. The pair both nailed eagles on No. 15 at the Longbow Golf Course in Mesa, Ariz. - Ole Miss hits the links in Maui, Hawaii, next week. The Rebels will play Kapalua Bay at the Anuenue Spring Break Classic hosted by Hawaii. Ole Miss will then return home to host the 2014 Rebel Intercollegiate at the Ole Miss Golf Course April 4-6.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Chris Schenkel Invitational hosted by Georgia Southern University at the Forrest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. - Junior Blake Morris led the team with a three-round score of even-par 216. Morris finished in a tie for 15th place, marking his sixth top-20 finish of the season. - As a team, Ole Miss placed eighth, finishing ahead of SEC-foes No. 28 Kentucky and Florida. - The Rebels will return to action April 7 at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship in West Point, Miss.
Today, we break into the top 20 moments by shifting into 1997 for moment No. 20. The Rebels have experienced extremely successful years under head coach Billy Chadwick in the past 30 years. However, the great programs tend to have one of those "special" years that separate themselves. The Rebels had one of those special years in 1995 and experienced one again in 1997.
After advancing to the semifinals of the National Team Indoor Championships and losing to UCLA 4-3, which is an accomplishment in of itself, the Rebels began a nine match winning streak that included our top moment in the middle.
In 1997, Montgomery, Ala., played host to the Blue/Gray National Championship. Coming off wins against No. 28 Alabama and No. 22 Auburn, the Rebels went undefeated in the tournament by topping Tulane 4-1, No. 17 Kansas 4-3, No. 22 Auburn 4-1, and No. 9 South Alabama 4-1 to claim the Blue/Gray title.
The Rebels were led by Sebastien DeChaunac, Johan Hede, and Johan Landsberg. All three earned All-America honors and all three played a major part of that historical year for the Rebels in 1997.
Friday, we will continue our run through 1997, including a great variety of team, individual, and first-time accomplishments for the Ole Miss tennis program. Stay tuned for moment No. 19 on Friday.
We begin this week with the last moment in 1996. Moment No. 21 was a team accomplishment led by Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. Chadwick took over the Ole Miss men's tennis program in 1983. And from that time, through 1995, the Rebels accomplished many things (most we have highlighted). However, one of the few things left was marked off the proverbial list in 1996.
Chadwick and the Rebels won the program's first ever Southeastern Conference Championship. The Rebels navigated their way to a perfect 11-0 regular season conference record, losing their first and only conference match in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament to No. 9 Mississippi State 4-3 (Rebels earned a first round bye and defeated Tennessee 4-0 in the quarterfinals).
Throughout the season, the Rebels took down many terrific teams inside the powerful SEC, including then No. 6 Mississippi State 4-3, No. 10 LSU 5-2, No. 12 Florida 4-3, and No. 4 Georgia 4-3. To emphasize this amazing accomplishment further, the SEC finished the year with six teams inside the top 25 in the ITA Rolex Collegiate Rankings.
Although this was the first conference championship for the Rebels, Chadwick made sure it was not the last. Since the first title, the Rebels have gone on to win four more SEC regular season titles (1997, 2004, 2005, and 2009) in the toughest conference in the country.
As we chronologically navigate our way through these great moments, on Wednesday we will transition to 1997, a year that comprises five additional nostalgic moments. Stay tuned as we set the stage for another memorable year in Chadwick's career.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 3-10, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss improved to 14-2 on the season with a series sweep of UALR this past weekend that included the team's fifth walk-off win of the season. - The Rebels moved up to No. 12 (USA Today/Coaches) in the national rankings with the release of the latest national polls Monday. - Freshman infielder Brantley Bell paced the Rebels with a .533 performance at the plate, including the game-tying run and game-winning hit vs. UALR on Friday night. - Junior right-handed pitcher Sam Smith improved to 3-0 on the season with his quality start against UALR on Sunday to clinch the series sweep.
Softball - Ole Miss completed a long, arduous week of softball last week. The Rebels opened the week by splitting a doubleheader in Salt Lake City on Monday, followed by a doubleheader sweep at home Tuesday before opening SEC play Friday at Gainesville, Fla., where the Rebels took one of three against the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators. - Senior pitcher Carly Hummel had a fantastic week. Hummel threw the first perfect game in program history Monday in a 5-0 win over Utah State, and followed that performance with a three-hit, complete game shutout victory at No. 1 Florida. For her work, Hummel became the first Rebel to be named SEC Pitcher of the Week since 2009. - Hummel finished the week with a team-high 20.0 innings of action, throwing a complete game in each of her three appearances. She posted a team-best ERA of 0.70, struck out a team-high 27 batters and walked just two. Her perfect game Monday is the only such performance in the SEC this season, and was just the fifth no-hit performance in Ole Miss history. - Ole Miss' 2-0 victory at No. 1 Florida on Friday was its first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent since 2007, and was just the program's second ever such victory. - Ole Miss has now won its SEC opener each of the past three seasons, including back-to-back seasons with SEC-opening wins over top-15 ranked opponents. The Rebels opened the 2013 season with a 3-1 win at No. 15 Kentucky.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss knocked off Vanderbilt 65-62 on Senior Day on Saturday. Senior guard Marshall Henderson, who was honored before the game, scored 11 second-half points as the Rebels erased a 12-point second half deficit to knock off the Commodores. - Head coach Andy Kennedy picked up his 170th career win at Ole Miss and moved past Florida's Billy Donovan and Alabama's Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins in SEC history by a coach in his first eight years in the league at one school. - Henderson extended his own SEC record with a 3-pointer in his 64th-straight game - The Rebels earned the No. 6 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament. Ole Miss will be looking to defend last year's title as it opens play Thursday vs. the winner of the Mississippi State-Vanderbilt matchup.
Women's Basketball - The Ole Miss women's basketball team advanced to the second round of the 2014 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament with a thrilling 63-62 win over Arkansas in opening round action Wednesday. The win was Ole Miss' first win in the SEC Tournament since the 2010 Tournament. - Ole Miss concluded the 2013-14 season Thursday with a 70-54 loss to Auburn. Ole Miss concluded the season with a 12-20, 2-14 SEC record and advanced to the second round of the SEC Tournament. The loss marked the end of the collegiate careers for Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore. - McFarland concludes her collegiate career as Ole Miss' No. 6 scorer with 1,655 career points. She also landed a spot on Ole Miss' single-season assists list. Her 201 assists in 2013-14 are the third most in a season at Ole Miss.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels split the weekend, downing No. 13 Tennessee 4-1 and then falling to No. 16 Georgia 4-0 on the road. - The Rebels have now won four straight against Tennessee. It also marked the first time this year for the Rebels to come back and win after losing the doubles point. - William Kallberg knocked off No. 21 ranked Hunter Reese of Tennessee to clinch the win. It marked Kallberg's best win of the year and his best since a win over the nation's No. 3 ranked player his freshman year. - The Rebels continue their road swing this weekend at No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 22 Kentucky.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels split a pair of matches this past weekend, defeating Tennessee 5-2 and then losing to No. 11 Georgia 5-2. The victory over Tennessee marked the Rebels third straight win against the Lady Vols in Oxford. - In the win over Tennessee, freshman Zalina Khairudinova earned her best win of the season, upsetting No. 55 ranked Eve Repic at No. 1 singles. - Khairudinova and Julia Jones are 10-2 on the year overall, 7-2 at No. 3 doubles. - The Rebels continue their five match homestand with a midweek match against VCU Wednesday at Noon. On Friday, the Rebels will host No. 7 Vanderbilt at 3 p.m. followed by No. 22 Kentucky on Sunday at noon.
Men's Golf - The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the Querencia Cabo Intercollegiate hosted by Southern Methodist University at the Los Cabos Querencia Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. - Freshman Ben Wolcott led the team with a three-round score of 220. Wolcott finished in a tie for 18th place, marking his second top-20 finish of the season. - As a team, Ole Miss finished the tournament tied for 10th place with Lamar University. The Rebels posted a three-round total of 898. - The Rebels will be back in action March 14 at the Chris Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga.
Football - The Ole Miss football team began spring practice on Tuesday and totaled three workouts in the first week before spring break. - Among the new faces to the team this spring are high school early enrollees C.J. Hampton (DB), Kendrick Doss (QB) and Marquis Haynes (DE) and junior college transfers Jeremy Liggins (QB/TE) and Christian Russell (LB). - Also enjoying the spring are Anthony Alford (DB) and Fadol Brown (DE), who are preparing to play this fall after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. - Ten players, assistant coach Tom Allen and team chaplain John Powell are doing mission work in Haiti during spring break. Among the players on the trip are Justin Bell, Serderius Bryant, Ryan Buchanan, Deterrian Shackelford and John Youngblood. - The Rebels will return to the practice fields after spring break on Monday, March 17. - Practices that will be held at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and open to the public are slated for March 22, March 29, April 4 and April 5 (Grove Bowl).
Proceeding from 1995 to 1996, we will highlight moment No. 23 in head coach Billy Chadwick's career. This particular moment will accentuate a tremendous individual accomplishment. In 1996, Sweden's Johan Hede became the first Rebel in Ole Miss tennis history to go undefeated throughout Southeastern Conference play.
Hede managed his way through SEC play unscathed with a perfect 11-0 record, and helped lead the Rebels to a 21-3 overall record and the team's first ever SEC Championship. Hede ended the 1996 campaign ranked No. 4 in the country, highest among SEC players. The three-time All-American was also named 1996 SEC Player of the Year, marking the second consecutive season for a Rebel to win the award (Mahesh Bhupathi in 1995). Hede defeated 18 ranked players throughout his memorable season. The victims include, but are not limited to, No. 9 ranked Thomas Dupre (twice) of Mississippi State, and No. 7 ranked Cedric Kauffman (current head coach of Kentucky) to clinch his perfect conference season.
Additionally, Hede won the SEC Singles Championship, and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship.
Hede helped lead the Rebels to a NCAA Tournament quarterfinals appearance, and his individual efforts did not go unnoticed by Chadwick. "It is a tribute to Johan to show such determination," Chadwick said following the 1996 season. "When you watch him play, you notice how hard he makes the other players work. Johan had a phenomenal year. He was a key part to the overall success of our team."
Friday, we will remain in 1996 and feature the man who has orchestrated the abundant success for the tennis program. Stay tuned for moment No. 22.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 24-March 2, 2014
Baseball - Ole Miss posted four straight walk-off wins this past week on the way to two wins over ULM and a sweep of UCF. - Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis has not allowed an earned run through three starts, and only one run total in 22.0 innings. - Sophomore left-handed pitcher Christian Trent has not allowed a walk through three starts and 20.1 innings of work. - The Rebels continue to play at home with a midweek game against Memphis and a weekend series against UALR.
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss split a pair of games last week, knocking off Alabama 79-67 at home Wednesday before falling to Texas A&M 71-60 on the road Sunday. - Sophomore Martavious Newby posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, as Ole Miss rolled Alabama. Jarvis Summers scored 20 points and sparked a decisive first-half surge to help lift the Rebels to the win. - Senior Marshall Henderson broke Pat Bradley's Southeastern Conference record with his 61st consecutive game with a 3-point shot, breaking the mark on his first attempt from the field vs. Alabama. Henderson now has hit a 3-pointer in 62 straight games and has at least two 3-pointers in 61 of his 62 career games with the Rebels. - The win over Alabama was Andy Kennedy's 169th career win at Ole Miss, which moved him into a tie with Billy Donovan and Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins by a coach in their first eight seasons in the league at one school. - Summers had a team-high 18 points and Henderson added 16 points in the Rebels' road loss at Texas A&M on Saturday. Ole Miss travels to Arkansas Wednesday before hosting Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Women's Basketball - The Ole Miss women's basketball team closed out the regular season with a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day. - The Rebels' win snapped a nine-game losing streak and gave the Rebels a 9-7 record at the Tad Smith Coliseum this season. - Ole Miss is the No. 14 seed for this week's SEC Tournament held in Duluth, Ga. Ole Miss will face the No. 11 seed Arkansas on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT. Ole Miss is making its first appearance in the SEC Tournament since 2011-12.
Track & Field - The Ole Miss men claimed SEC titles in the pole vault and distance medley relay to highlight a seventh-place team performance at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Texas A&M. - Sam Kendricks, a junior from Oxford, Miss., won his first SEC title in the pole vault with a clearance of 18-2 to score 10 team points. It was the second SEC indoor pole vault title in school history (Baker Vinci, 1985), and Kendricks added one more accolade to his list that already included an NCAA outdoor title and three All-America honors. - Ole Miss also won an SEC crown in the distance medley relay, with a squad composed of three freshmen (Robert Domanic, Will Spiers, Sean Tobin) and a senior (Montez Griffin). Tobin ran an amazing anchor leg for the victory in 9:39.54, which nearly broke the SEC meet record of 9:39.06 set by Alabama in 2011. It was the Rebels' first ever SEC title in the distance medley relay. - Other top performances at the SEC meet included Tobin's runner-up finish in the mile and freshman Jalen Miller's third-place effort in the 60 meters. - Ole Miss now awaits for the final declaration of athletes for the NCAA Championships (March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.). Those expected to receive invites include Kendricks (pole vault) and Miller (60 meters).
Softball - Ole Miss traveled west to compete in San Diego for the San Diego Classic I, but rain intervened while the Rebels were in the Golden State and washed out all five scheduled games. - Thanks to a flight cancelation while in Salt Lake City, Ole Miss will play a doubleheader against Utah State and Utah on Monday. - The Rebels also have a home doubleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday, followed by their first SEC series of the year at Florida on Friday-Sunday.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels dropped both opening SEC matches this past weekend falling to No. 23 Auburn and No. 10 Alabama on the road. - Julia Jones went 3-1 in singles and doubles, including an 8-0 win over the 35th-ranked team from Alabama at No. 3 doubles. - Jones and freshman Zalina Khairudinova improved to 9-1 overall, 7-1 in dual matches with both wins at No. 3 doubles this past weekend. They are 2-0 in the SEC. - The Rebels begin a five-match home stand this weekend with Tennessee on Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 12 Georgia Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels lost both of their SEC matches last weekend to fall to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in league play. - Ricardo Jorge made his home debut last weekend and went 2-2 in singles and doubles. - William Kallberg rallied to knock off 75th-ranked Becker O'Shaughnessey of Alabama 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. - The Rebels travel to No. 11 Tennessee and Georgia this weekend.
Rifle - Ole Miss hosted the Great American Rifle Conference Championships this past weekend. Senior Melissa Quartarone shot a 591 in air rifle to make the finals, and then her 182.3 total landed her in third place. - Freshman Alison Weisz qualified for the NCAA Championships in air rifle. She became the first freshman in program history to qualify for the NCAAs. She finished the regular season leading the team in air rifle with an average of 586.5. In her last seven matches, she averaged 590.1. Weisz also earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors in air rifle. She became the first freshman in program history to earn all-conference honors.
Women's Golf -The Rebels kicked off the 2014 spring season at the AllState Sugar Bowl Classic last week. - Ole Miss closed the two-day tournament in 17th place with a three-round score of 894 (294-302-298--894). - Abby Newton was Ole Miss' top individual finishing in 49th place with a three-day score of 222. - Ole Miss will next be in action at the Notre Dame Clover Cup at Longbow Country Club March 14-16. The Rebels host the Rebel Intercollegiate April 4-6 at the Ole Miss Golf Course.
To begin this week, we are ending 1995 for moment No. 24. This moment is another first for the Ole Miss tennis program and is the product of a true collective effort by Coach Chadwick and the Rebels.
By now, you are all aware of the sheer historic year that was 1995. At the end of the season, the Rebels were recognized in the ITA Rolex Collegiate Rankings as the third best team in the country. This would be the first ever top-five finish, and the highest finish in Ole Miss tennis history.
The Rebels finished the year 20-7, reached the NCAA Championship Final, boasted the NCAA Doubles Champions and a NCAA-record five All-Americans. The Rebels defeated 13 teams inside the top 50, highlighted by No. 5 Duke, No. 8 Texas Christian, No. 2 Georgia and No. 3 Pepperdine.
1995 proved to be a statement year for Coach Billy Chadwick and his program. Ole Miss became a team that you talk about when discussing the nation's elite in college tennis. It was not just a program that had a good year or two and then drops off. The Rebels have finished inside the top five seven times. Teams knew then, as they know now, when you see Ole Miss on your schedule, you better bring your absolute 'A' game if you plan on having a chance to win. That statement that Chadwick and his club sent that year to the rest of the world was simple: Ole Miss tennis is for real. It is here and here to stay.
On Wednesday, we will enter 1996 to highlight a historic year by a Rebel player as we continue this journey through the career of Coach Chadwick and the Ole Miss tennis program.
Finishing this week, we are staying in 1995 for moment No. 25. This year produced a lot of firsts for the Ole Miss tennis program, including this remarkable achievement from an incredible doubles duo.
Mahesh Bhupathi and Ali Hamadeh became the first ever NCAA Champions in program history by winning the NCAA Doubles Championship. The tandem defeated Texas' Chad Clark and Trey Phillips 7-6, 6-2 in the televised championship match.
Bhupathi and Hamadeh took down three nationally ranked teams, including No. 2 seed Paul Goldstein and Scott Humphries of Stanford to reach the final. For winning the doubles championship, Bhupathi and Hamadeh were rewarded with a wildcard into the 1995 U.S. Open Championships. They made their presence known as they took down veteran pros Mark Kyle and Peter Nyborg to advance to the second round, before falling to the No. 6 ranked doubles team in the world.
Subsequent to the Rebels winning the doubles championship, Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick said, "This is a great way to cap off a tremendous NCAA Tournament and truly makes this one of the outstanding accomplishments in Ole Miss sports. I am extremely proud of the team and their commitment all year. These players worked hard from day one."
Monday we will finish off 1995 and proceed chronologically to the following year. There are plenty more "firsts" and exciting moments in store as the years progress for coach Chadwick. Stay tuned.
The Ole Miss men's tennis team kicks off Southeastern Conference play, as they host No. 31 Auburn and No. 37 Alabama this weekend at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The Rebels enter the weekend with a 2-3 record, and they see the start of league play as the beginning of a new season.
"It's very exciting," said senior Johan Backstrom. "It's going to be like a new start for us. This feels like the beginning of the season. We feel like if we play up to our potential with the team that we have now, we can cause some damage in the SEC this year."
The Southeastern Conference race appears wide open, with six teams ranked in the top 25 but no teams ranked in the top 10 in this week's ITA National Team rankings.
The defending champion and preseason favorite, Georgia, is 3-5 overall and ranked No. 35, with losses to No. 22 Florida and No. 16 Mississippi State at the ITA National Team Indoor. The highest ranked team, No. 11 Tennessee, is 10-3 overall, with a loss to No. 13 Texas A&M. Ole Miss was picked sixth in the coaches' preseason poll.
"The SEC is wide open," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "It's already been proven that any team can beat any other team in the SEC, so it's going to be a tough weekend because Alabama and Auburn both have quality programs."
"It's hard to predict, and there are going to be a lot of close matches," Backstrom added. "With Ricardo (Jorge) being eligible, we have a deep team. If we play to our potential, we should have a really good chance of winning championships this year."
Jorge, a freshman from Tavira, Portugal, made his debut last weekend in Waco, Texas, where the Rebels went 1-1 with a 4-0 win over SMU and a 4-0 loss to No. 7 Baylor. Jorge won at No. 5 singles to clinch the win against SMU and then paired with junior Nik Scholtz at No. 2 doubles for a win against Baylor.
"He has good returns," Chadwick said. "He's a good natural doubles player because he's good at the net. In singles, he relies on his forehand. He likes to dictate the play with it. He's very fast with his feet. He has a really good overall game. From a coaching standpoint, he is an easy young man to work with and listens well. He is an extremely hard worker. He's going to be a good one."
A year ago, Ole Miss defeated Auburn and Alabama in the regular season, both by a score of 4-3, but in the SEC Tournament, 12-seed Alabama upset 5-seed Ole Miss, 4-3.
"We need to get off to a good start, and these are two teams that we match up well with, and we're playing at home, so we need to take advantage of that," Chadwick said. "They're very similar to last year's teams. It's a lot of the same faces. When you look at the results this fall, both of them have improved since last year."
Ole Miss begins play this weekend against Auburn Friday at 2 p.m., and then concludes against Alabama Sunday at 1 p.m.
Coming in at No. 26 is the second of four moments to occur in the historic year of 1995. Arguably the greatest moment on the list, the Rebels ended a record-setting season in the granddaddy of them all as it relates to college tennis.
Coach Billy Chadwick led his team to the NCAA Team Championship Final as the Rebels defeated No. 2 ranked Georgia in front of 5,000 screaming Bulldog fans watching at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Johan Hede delivered the knockout blow and silenced the crowd with a thrilling come-from-behind victory against Georgia's Eddie Jacques. After losing the first set 6-4, Hede rallied to win the final two sets 6-4, 7-5 to clinch the 4-3 victory for the Rebels. Hede, then just a sophomore, faced several break points in the last set, but each time he held. Jacques visibly cramping, could barely move in the last game, and Hede took advantage, painting a forehand winner on match point as his Rebel teammates mobbed him on the court.
"This victory is a tribute to the hard work of this team, said Chadwick, moments after one of the biggest wins in his career. "It took a great effort to defeat Georgia on their home court. I am proud of our players for their outstanding performance."
Before Hede could be the hero, the Rebels had to rally after dropping the doubles point for the second day in a row. Mahesh Bhupathi, the SEC Player of the Year, won in straight sets at No. 1 singles and then Ali Hamadeh won his match at No. 3 singles to make it 2-1 Rebels. After Georgia claimed consecutive matches at four and five singles, senior Van vanLingen finished off a comeback win at No. 6 singles, winning 6-4 in the third to even the match at 3-3.
During this prolific run, the Rebels knocked out No. 11 and two-time defending champion Southern California 4-3, and perennial power No. 3 Pepperdine 4-2. The Rebels would fall to No. 1 Stanford in the Championship match, giving the Cardinals a perfect 27-0 record.
As we are only halfway through our moments from the exciting year of 1995, stay tuned for our next history-making moment. Here's a clue: it involves the 1995 SEC Player of the Year.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2014
Softball - Ole Miss went 7-0 last week. The Rebels opened the week with a doubleheader sweep on the road at Southern Miss, and closed it out by going 5-0 at the Red and Blue Classic at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. - Senior center fielder RT Cantillo hit .556 for the week to raise her season batting average to .525, which is second best in the SEC. - Junior right fielder Jamie Morgan hit a team-best .556 at the Red and Blue Classic with a team-high five RBI. Morgan is now batting .452 on the year. - Prior to allowing a run in the fourth inning vs. Saint Louis on Sunday, Ole Miss had gone 25 consecutive innings without allowing a run. - Led by seniors Shelby Jo Fenter and Carly Hummel, the Ole Miss pitching staff combined for a 1.03 ERA at the Red and Blue Classic.
Baseball - Ole Miss went 3-1 on the week with a 6-0 home-opening win over Tennessee Martin prior to winning the first two games of a three-game home series against Georgia State. - Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis threw the first complete game of his career with a shutout of Georgia State last weekend. - Ole Miss has posted three shutouts through seven games this season. - Ellis has turned in two shutouts to start the season, while Saturday left-handed starter Christian Trent has allowed only two runs and walked none in two starts and 13.0 innings. - Junior catcher Will Allen continues to lead the Rebels at the plate, hitting .429 with two home runs and 13 RBI through seven games.
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 2-0 last weekend, shutting out Lipscomb 7-0 and defeating No. 32 Memphis 4-3 to improve to 5-1. They have now won four matches in a row. - Head coach Mark Beyers picked up his 200th career coaching victory with Sunday's win over Memphis. That total includes a 50-8 record as the head women's coach at his alma mater, Armstrong Atlantic State. - Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe and Mai El Kamash both remained undefeated in dual matches at 4-0. - The Rebels have won the doubles point in five of their six matches, and are a combined 13-3 at all three spots. - The Rebels begin SEC play this weekend at Auburn and Alabama.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-1 last week on the road, downing SMU 4-0 before falling to No. 7 Baylor 4-0. The Baylor match was much closer than the final score indicated, with the doubles point coming down to a tiebreaker at No. 1, and five of the six singles matches going three sets. - Freshman Ricardo Jorge made his debut and went 2-0 in singles and doubles. He clinched the win over SMU at No. 5 singles, and then teamed with Nik Scholtz for an 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles against Baylor. - The Rebels return home this weekend to open SEC play. They will host Auburn on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by Alabama on Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans coming to Friday's match will receive free bucket hats, and on Sunday they will get a Spring Break tank top.
Men's Basketball - Senior Marshall Henderson tied Pat Bradley's Southeastern Conference record with his 60th consecutive game with a 3-pointer on Saturday. - Ole Miss dropped a pair of home games to top-20 teams last week as the Rebels fell to No. 16 Kentucky on Tuesday and No. 2 Florida on Saturday. It was the first time since 1998-99 that Ole Miss had hosted two top-20 teams at home in the same week. - Jarvis Summers scored 20 points, including 14 in the second half, and Marshall Henderson added 22 first-half points, but it was not enough against the Gators. - Summers scored 22 points and Anthony Perez scored 21, but the Rebels' second-half comeback fell short as the Wildcats defeated Ole Miss 84-70 in Oxford on Tuesday night.
Women's Basketball - Junior Tia Faleru averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds last week, and posted back-to-back double-doubles against No. 13/16 Texas A&M and Mississippi State. She now has 15 double-doubles on the year, which leads the SEC and is ranked 18th nationally. - Faleru is approaching the 1,000-point mark, as she is just 66 points away from the milestone. She will need to average 22 points in each of Ole Miss' next three games to reach the feat this season. She will become Ole Miss' 26th 1,000-point scorer. - Valencia McFarland set a new career-high with 29 points in Ole Miss' overtime loss at Mississippi State. McFarland has topped the 20-point mark on 11 occasions this season. She also posted a season-best five triples against the Bulldogs. - Ole Miss will close out the 2013-14 regular season this week. The Rebels will travel to Missouri on Thursday for a televised contest on Fox Sports Midwest/Sport South. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. CT. Ole Miss will close the season at home against Auburn on Sunday at 2 p.m. Seniors Kenyotta Jenkins, McFarland and Diara Moore will be honored.
Rifle - The Rebels competed in the NCAA Qualifier last weekend in Lexington, Ky. They posted a 4612 aggregate score. Senior MaryAnn Banks led the squad in smallbore with a 574 as the Rebels totaled a 2277. Freshman Alison Weisz continues to lead the Rebels in air rifle, posting a 588 on the day as the Rebels finished with a total of 2335. - The Rebels will find out Thursday when the NCAA team and individual selections are made, if anyone will qualify for the NCAA Championships. Senior Abbey Stanec has made it the past two years. - This weekend, the Rebels will host the GARC Championships for the 10th consecutive year at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center. Action begins Friday at noon with individual smallbore. Competition continues all day Saturday and concludes Sunday with the finals of air rifle.
To begin this week, we will continue a similar path that we ended on last week. For the No. 27 moment under Billy Chadwick, Ole Miss celebrated another inaugural individual milestone.
As we mentioned last week, Mahesh Bhupathi rose onto the tennis scene during his freshman year (1994) with the Rebels. The following year in 1995, Bhupathi did something that no other tennis player had ever done in Ole Miss tennis history. Following a combined 15-3 record in league play in singles and doubles, Bhupathi was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.
That year, Bhupathi was the SEC Indoor Singles Champion and finished the season as the No. 3 ranked singles and No. 1 doubles player in the country.
"Mahesh's record speaks for itself, but to me, what separates him from the rest is his match play combined with his outstanding sportsmanship," said Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick upon the recognition.
The 1995 season will go down as not only one of the best in tennis, but one of the best years in any single sport in Ole Miss history, which is why we decided to break down the year in several moments. We have plenty more exciting, groundbreaking moments from this year on the way. Stay tuned.
For our 28th moment, we will cap this week off by highlighting a major team accomplishment for coach Billy Chadwick during his rise and transformation of the Ole Miss Tennis program.
In 1994, the Rebels became the first team in Ole Miss Tennis history to finish a season ranked in the top 10 in the national polls. During this historic season, Ole Miss received many honors league and nationwide. The Rebels qualified more players for the NCAA than any other team in the country, led the league in players selected to the All-SEC team (3), and finished tied for 10th in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll.
As the No. 25 ranked doubles team in the country, Joakim Appelqvist teamed with Ali Hamadeh to claim the Rolex Region III Doubles Championship as well as the SEC Doubles Championship. All while a familiar and recurring name, freshman Mahesh Bhupathi, was named National ITA Rookie of the Year and joined Appelqvist and Hamadeh on the All-SEC team. In addition, the All-American, Appelqvist reached the Final Four of the NCAA Championships, further than any men's tennis player in the state of Mississippi had ever reached at the time.
The Rebels finished the season with an overall record of 17-8 and were a constant name inside the top 15 throughout the year. The Rebels posted five shutout wins in SEC play; most notable was the blanking of No. 4 Kentucky 7-0.
Appelqvist also helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Region III Championship, while being recognized as one of the great student-athletes in the league. Appelqvist was an ITA Academic All-American and joined Ivan Trevino as an SEC Academic Honor Roll selection.
Mahesh Bhupathi caught the eyes of the entire tennis world as a true freshman. However, just as we are only getting started on our countdown, Bhupathi was only getting started on leaving his mark as one of the most decorated tennis players in Ole Miss history.
Stay tuned for No. 27 next week as Bhupathi and the Rebels take their game and the program to an even higher level.
For our 29th moment in our journey throughout Ole Miss men's tennis head coach Billy Chadwick's illustrious career, we recall the program's first ever NCAA Tournament win.
In 1992, there were four matches featuring eight teams that had to play their way into the Final 16. The other 12 earned automatic spots into the Sweet Sixteen.
Ole Miss, who defeated Clemson 5-3, was one of four teams to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The Rebels would lose their succeeding match; however, they were recognized for their outstanding season with the program's highest final national ranking (No. 14). When the dust settled three Rebels were named All-American and three made the All-SEC team.
The Rebels' wins that season included No. 9 Mississippi State, No. 17 Arkansas, No. 18 Tennessee, and No. 24 Rice. The Rebels were led by the All-American trio of Mohamed Ridaoui and the doubles tandem of Ivan Trevino and Mike Knowles, who finished the year as the No. 4 ranked team in the country with a 31-2 record. Trevino was the only league player named to both the All-SEC team and the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
"The success of this team centered on our outstanding doubles play, we finished our dual-match season 25-3 in doubles matches," Chadwick said. "Ivan is a great example of the type of student-athlete we strive for here at Ole Miss, and we are very proud of his accomplishments on and off the court."
Friday, we will fast-forward a couple of years to recognize an additional outstanding team achievement. Stay tuned to find out what the Rebel Netters accomplished.
On the heels of the Ole Miss men's tennis program producing its first ever All-Americans, Billy Chadwick led his team to yet another unprecedented achievement. In 1989, the Rebels earned their first ever NCAA Tournament bid.
However, in 1989, the NCAA Tournament field was not the same as it is today. When the Rebels earned their first invitation, the NCAA only selected 16 teams to compete in the prestigious NCAA Championships.
Ole Miss was led by a familiar name in team captain Dave Randall, who ranked as high as No. 9 in the Volvo Tennis/Collegiate Series poll in 1989. That year, the Rebels defeated 10 nationally ranked teams en route to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance.
"The road to the NCAAs was an exciting journey," said Ole Miss coach Billy Chadwick. "Week after week this team put forth great effort. Anytime you beat the likes of SMU, Pepperdine and Clemson, you have had a great year."
A great year by the Rebels indeed. As a result of the successful season, the Rebels also became the first Ole Miss men's tennis team ever to finish the season nationally ranked (No. 15). The Rebels fell to Miami in the first round of the NCAA Championships, ending the season with a 17-10 record and the No. 15 national ranking.
In addition to Randall, the Rebels were paced by sophomores Keith Evans, Jamie Booras and freshman Mike Knowles. Evans reached the finals at No. 2 singles at the SEC Tournament and was a member of the All-SEC team. Booras and Knowles reached the SEC Tournament finals at No. 2 doubles, while Booras teamed with Randall for the duo's second NCAA doubles appearance. Randall capped the year by winning the prestigious Rafael Osuna National Sportsmanship Award, presented to the most outstanding collegiate tennis player that demonstrates both great skill and exemplifies sportsmanship.
Continuing our series highlighting the most important moments in the Billy Chadwick era, today we will recognize a critical milestone in Ole Miss men's tennis program history.
On March 31, 1987, the Ole Miss men's tennis team broke into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Top 25 for the first time in program history. The Rebels had just recently beaten No. 18 ranked Georgia Tech 7-2 the previous week.
In 1987, the Rebels faced one of the most daunting schedules in the country. Ole Miss faced 14 teams in the top 25 and four in the top 10. Along with Georgia Tech, the Rebels defeated two other top 25 teams that year in No. 17 California-Irvine 6-3, and No. 22 Florida 6-3.
"I am excited to get this national recognition that this team deserves," said Ole Miss coach Billy Chadwick then in his fifth season as the head coach. "We plan to work hard and build on this."
The Rebels were led by freshman Jimmy Pitts of Smyrna, Ga. Pitts finished with a team best 22-8 individual record and was noted by Chadwick as the team's "most consistent player."
Although the 1987 season was a first for the Rebels in the polls, Ole Miss has become a constant not only in the top 25, but inside the top 10. In the last 20 years, Chadwick has coached 15 teams to a top 10 finish.
Stay tuned for No. 32 Wednesday.
Special assistance by media relations student Wesley Boock.
Men's Basketball - Senior Marshall Henderson scored 29 points, including eight 3-pointers, and four Rebels scored in double figures as the Rebels held off the Missouri Tigers 91-88 at home Saturday. - Henderson hit 8-of-15 from 3-point range and added five assists for Ole Miss, which remained in sole possession of third place in the Southeastern Conference. Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White had 16 points apiece, and Anthony Perez had 11. - The Rebels hit 14 3-pointers vs. Missouri, one off the school record of 15 set earlier this year versus Oregon. - Henderson has now hit a 3-pointer in 56-straight games, four shy of tying Pat Bradly's SEC record of 60-straight games. - Ole Miss' win over Missouri gave the Rebels their first top-50 RPI win of the season, and was their fifth top-100 RPI win of the season. - The Rebels improved to 5-0 in the SEC at home.
Men's Tennis - Playing without their No. 1 player, the No. 21 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team shut out visiting Southern Miss 7-0 Friday at the Gillom Sports Center. The Rebels picked up their first win of the season to improve to 1-2. - Junior William Kallberg, playing only his second match ever at No. 1 singles, won 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the victory. - Vinod Gowda earned his first career dual match victory after coming so close on the opening weekend. He won in straight sets at No. 4 singles. - Sophomore Joe Rogers, playing in his first singles dual match and first singles match in more than two years, won 6-4, 1-6, 10-6 at No. 5 singles to complete the sweep.
Track & Field - The Ole Miss men and women tracksters broke two school records and had several nationally relevant marks in New York over the weekend at the prestigious Armory Collegiate Invitational. - The No. 21 Rebel men were led by the distance medley relay team of Robert Domanic, Montez Griffin, Sean Tobin and Daniel Bulmer. They shattered a 29-year-old school record by running a 9:40.17, which ranks them 12th in the NCAA this year. - The women's 4x200m relay squad of Mary Ashton Nall, Kierra White, Erika Sisk and Kennadi Bouyer broke a 25-year-old school record when they clocked a 1:43.66. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that record is that only one of those (Bouyer) is a sprint specialist. The others are a multi-eventer (Nall) and two jumpers (White and Sisk). - Junior Robert Semien clocked a personal best time of 7.81 to finish third in the 60m hurdle final, and moved up to No. 3 in school history and top 20 in the nation this season. - Freshman Jalen Miller blazed his way to third place in the 60m final with a personal-best 6.62 that moves him up to No. 11 in the NCAA this year and keeps him at fifth-best in school history. - Junior Daniel Bulmer, who anchored the DMR team, ran a time of 8:12.19 in the 3,000 meters Saturday, which moved him into fifth place in the school record books. - Freshman Trevor Gilley burst onto the scene by winning the college division mile run with a season-best time of 4:08.65 that ranks him ninth in school history. - The Rebels have one more weekend of competition this coming Friday and Saturday (split between the Don Kirby Elite Invitational and the Husky Classic) before the SEC Championships in College Station, Texas (Feb. 27-March 1). Rifle - Powered by a school record in air rifle (2353), the No. 12 ranked Ole Miss rifle team rallied to defeat No. 13 Navy 4629-4610 on Saturday. - The Rebels found themselves trailing the Midshipmen by nine after smallbore, but came out strong in air to overtake Navy for the second straight year and win their second GARC match in a row. Ole Miss defeated No. 9 Memphis by one on Wednesday. - Freshman Ali Weisz fired a 592 in air to pace the squad again. It marked the fourth match in the last six for the Montana native to score in the 590s. - The Rebels are back in action Saturday, traveling to Murray, Ky., to face No. 11 Murray State.
Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week, dropping a
hard fought, 77-65 contest to No 8/8 Tennessee on Thursday before
taking an 84-63 road loss at the hands of Georgia. - Valencia
McFarland picked up her 1,500th career point with 14 points against
Georgia on Sunday. McFarland becomes one of just seven players in
program history with 1,500 career points, joining the likes of the
Gillom sisters and Armintie Price, among others. - Tia Faleru picked
up her SEC-leading 12th double-double against Tennessee with 23 points
and 11 rebounds. Her 12 double-doubles are the most for an Ole Miss
player since Nikki Byrd had 12 in 2011-12 - a number Faleru is poised to
surpass this season. - Amber Singletary set a new career high with
five 3-pointers against Georgia to finish with 15 points. Singletary was
in double figures for the second time this season. - Danielle McCray
posted her second double-double this season with 11 points and 10
rebounds vs. Georgia, while Kenyotta Jenkins added 10 rebounds for her
second game with double-figure rebounds this season.
Softball - Ole Miss opened the 2014 season at the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational in Fort Myers, Fla., with a 2-3 mark that included wins over Georgetown and Liberty on day two of the three-day tournament. - Senior outfielder RT Cantillo led the Rebels at the plate with a .563 average in 16 at bats. Cantillo batted in two runs and scored three more, while going a combined 5-of-6 in Ole Miss' two victories. - After dropping each of its first two games at the tournament to Western Kentucky and host Florida Gulf Coast by 3-2 marks, Ole Miss bounced back on the second day of the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Georgetown and a 5-1 win over Liberty. Ole Miss lost 9-2 in the third-place game against Georgetown on the final day of the tournament Sunday. - Redshirt-freshman pitcher Emily Gaitan threw a fantastic game in her collegiate debut against Georgetown on Saturday, going all seven innings while striking out seven, walking one and allowing just three hits and zero earned runs. - The Rebels closed out the second day of the tournament with a 5-1 victory over Liberty in which senior Shelby Jo Fenter picked up her first win by going 6.1 innings and striking out eight before sophomore Madi Osias, who hit a three-run home run earlier in the game, came on for the save.
As we are all aware, Ole Miss legendary tennis coach Billy Chadwick will retire at season's end. Throughout his career, Ole Miss fans have witnessed many memorable moments on and off the courts.
Chadwick has been coaching at Ole Miss for what will be 35 years and, as a tribute, we are going to reflect and try to highlight the 35 top moments of Chadwick's tenure. For a coach that has accumulated over 600 wins during his career, picking out only 35 is no small feat.
We are going to follow up Chadwick's success with the women's team with No. 34 today. For the remainder of the men's tennis season, we will release three top moments a week to highlight Chadwick's storied career. Starting next week, we will release one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week.
No. 34 on our list is Chadwick's first career win as the men's tennis coach. This came in Chadwick's first season as the men's head coach in 1983, as the Rebels defeated Centenary 8-1 at the Milwaukee Classic in Milwaukee, Wisc.
While relishing the accomplished program that we all enjoy today, it is easy to forget where it all began. When Chadwick took over the men's program that year in 1983, it was last in the Southeastern Conference. Thirty years and 18 SEC titles later, here we are.
Although Chadwick's first career win was not against a big-name opponent, it was the beginning of one of the most historic coaching careers in college tennis.
Stay tuned for No. 33 next week with many exciting moments on the way. We are only getting started.
As we are all aware, Ole Miss legendary tennis coach Billy Chadwick will retire at season's end. Throughout his career, Ole Miss fans have witnessed many memorable moments on and off the courts. Chadwick has been coaching at Ole Miss for what will be 35 years and, as a tribute, we are going to reflect and try to highlight the 35 top moments of Chadwick's tenure. For a coach that has accumulated over 600 wins during his career, picking out only 35 is no small feat.
We are going to begin with #35 today, and we will countdown until the last match of the season.
Chadwick began his coaching career at Ole Miss in 1979 as the women's tennis coach, laying the foundation for the excellent team they have today.
No. 35 on our list is Chadwick's first big win as the women's tennis coach at Ole Miss. In 1982, he led the Lady Rebels to the SEC finals with a big upset over No. 2 Georgia (5-4) in the semifinals. They also beat No. 4 seeded Vanderbilt 8-1 in the quarterfinals.
The Lady Rebels went on to finish seventh in the AIAW Nationals and earned the program's first top 20 national ranking.
Stay tuned for #34 on Thursday. We are just getting started.
Special assistance by media relations student Wesley Boock.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2014
Men's Basketball - Ole Miss split a pair of game last week, falling on the road at Tennessee on Wednesday before rallying to beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 75-71 at home Saturday afternoon. - The Rebels rallied from a 15-point, second half deficit to knock off South Carolina on Saturday, and ended the game on a 29-10 run. Senior Marshall Henderson scored 21 points for Ole Miss and junior Jarvis Summers added 16 points, including 8 of Ole Miss' final 11 points in the come-from-behind victory. Ole Miss trailed by 5 points at halftime and was down by 15 points with nine minutes in the game remaining before starting its run. - The Rebels' comeback against South Carolina was their largest second-half comeback since overcoming a 15-point deficit at Arkansas in 2012. - Ole Miss is 26-9 (.743 winning percentage) over its last 35 games vs. SEC opponents dating back to 2012, which is the best mark in school history. It is also tied with Florida for the best mark in the SEC over the last 35 games. - At 6-2, the Rebels are tied with last year's team and the 1937-38 Ole Miss squad for the best start to SEC play after eight games in school history. Ole Miss travels to Kentucky on Tuesday before returning home to host Missouri on Saturday.
Women's Tennis - Ole Miss dominated Jacksonville State 7-0 Saturday to improve to 3-1 on the season. The Rebels only gave up 10 games total to the Gamecocks in doubles and singles, and they outscored JSU 18-0 in doubles. - Zalina Khairudinova and Julia Jones won their sixth doubles match in a row, and improved to 4-0 in dual matches this season. Mai El Kamash picked up her team-leading 14th win in singles, while Jones earned her 13th win of the year. - The Rebels have now posted three shutouts this year in their first four matches. - Senior Caroline Rohde-Moe was one of nine Ole Miss student-athletes inducted into the Who's Who Among Colleges and Universities last Friday at the Gertrude Ford Center. The two-time All-SEC honoree is an outstanding student in the Honors College. - The Rebels are off until Feb. 21 when they host a doubleheader against Lipscomb and Tennessee State.
Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week after a 99-70 road loss at No. 7/8 South Carolina on Thursday, and an 81-60 defeat to Florida on Sunday at home. The Rebels will face four ranked opponents in their next six games. - Valencia McFarland extended her scoring streak to 110 consecutive games by scoring in each of Ole Miss' last two games. She also extended her consecutive games started streak to 100 games with starts against South Carolina and Florida. McFarland has started each game of the last two seasons. - Tia Faleru's 21 points and 14 rebounds against Florida marked her 11th double-double of the season, a number which leads the SEC. It's also the most double-doubles for an Ole Miss player since former Rebel Nikki Byrd had 12 during the 2011-12 season. Faleru also leads the league in rebounding with 9.7 rebounds per game. - After her 30 points over the week. Valencia McFarland is now 18 points away from her 1,500th-career point. She will become one of seven players in program history to reach the mark.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels were off last week, but junior Nik Scholtz traveled back to his home country of South Africa to represent it in the Davis Cup. With his country down 0-1 to Monaco, Scholtz won an exciting five-setter against world No. 276 ranked Benjamin Balleret to tie the match. South Africa ended up winning the match 3-2. - The Rebels are back in action Friday with a doubleheader against Southern Miss.
The Ole Miss women's tennis team returns to action on Saturday, as it hosts Jacksonville State at 10 a.m. at the Gillom Sports Center. The Ole Miss men's tennis team is off this week before hosting Southern Miss on Friday, Feb. 7.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 20-26) Jan. 20-26, 2014
Men's Basketball - Men's hoops ran its record to 5-1 in SEC play with a pair of wins over Vanderbilt and Mississippi State last week. - The Rebels have won four in a row in conference play and are now 25-8 in their last 33 games against SEC foes dating back to 2012. - Ole Miss' 19-point, blowout win over MSU was the largest margin of victory over the Bulldogs since downing MSU 84-61 in Oxford in 1997. - The win at Vanderbilt marked the first time in school history the Rebels have won games at Memorial Gym in back-to-back seasons. - Jarvis Summers scored 19 points against MSU and became the 35th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark in his Ole Miss career.
Women's Basketball - The Rebels went 1-1 on the week, highlighted by a thrilling 87-85 overtime win over in-state rival Mississippi State. Kenyotta Jenkins scored on a putback with just one second left on the clock to give the Rebels (10-11, 1-6 SEC) their first SEC win. The win was also the first SEC victory for first-year head coach Matt Insell. - Tia Faleru picked up her 10th double-double of the season with 29 points and 15 rebounds against Mississippi State. Faleru's 10 double-doubles lead the SEC and are the most for an Ole Miss player since Nikki Byrd had 12 during the 2011-12 season. - Valencia McFarland posted her third consecutive game of 20+ points with 27 against Mississippi State. She also tied her career high with 12 assists. She played her third consecutive game of 40 or more points against the Bulldogs. She averaged 26.6 points during that span. - McFarland is now 48 points away from her 1,500th career point. She will become the seventh 1,500-point scorer in program history. Faleru is also nearing her 1,000th point, as she is just 204 points away from the milestone. She will become the 17th 1,000-point scorer in program history. - Shequila Joseph nailed five triples against the Bulldogs, a career-best and season-best for the Rebels against Mississippi State.
Track & Field - Ole Miss athletes collected three event wins, two facility records, one school record and more than 30 indoor personal-best marks over the two-day Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational. - Competing against a couple of nationally ranked teams and several SEC squads, the No. 16 Ole Miss men were led by Sam Kendricks' facility record 18-2.75 in the pole vault, Daniel Bulmer's school-record 4:02.80 mile (in his first-ever race as a Rebel), and Robert Domanic's 3,000-meter title in 8:12.04. - Freshman sprinter Jalen Miller also shined for the Rebel men, posting the best 60-meter time among collegians in Nashville with his 6.69, and placing second in the 200 meters with a personal-best 21.41. - Ole Miss athletes who rank among the top 25 nationally in their events include Kendricks (No. 1 pole vault - 18-4.75), Phillip Young (No. 6 triple jump - 52-2.5), Bulmer (No. 13 mile - 4:02.80), Miller (No. 14 60m - 6.67), Mike Granger (No. 17 60m - 6.69), Robert Semien (No. 23 60m hurdles - 7.91), Fabia McDonald (No. 5 pentathlon - 3,989; No. 11 long jump - 20-3.5) and Kierra White (No. 21 long jump - 20-0.25).
Women's Tennis - The Rebels went 1-1 at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to finish 2-1 for the week, after a season-opening 7-0 win over Jackson State. In the loss to No. 34 Oklahoma in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off, the match was much closer than the final score. The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker at No. 2. When the Sooners clinched, the Rebels were winning in two of the three remaining singles matches. - The Rebels rebounded from the disappointing loss to Oklahoma to dominate No. 40 William & Mary 4-0 in the consolation match of the ITA Kick-Off. In the win, the Rebels did not drop a set in avenging a 4-3 loss to the Tribe last year. In fact, the Rebels only lost 10 games total in the two doubles and three singles matches they won to clinch the victory. - Freshman Zalina Khairudinova made her dual match debut last week and finished 5-1 in singles and doubles in three matches. Her only loss in singles came down to a third-set supertiebreaker against Oklahoma. In the other two matches, she only lost five games total in singles and doubles. Khairudinova and junior Julia Jones are off to a 5-0 start this spring, including 3-0 in dual matches at No. 3 doubles. They have lost only five games total in the five matches they've played together this spring. - The Rebels begin a four-match homestand this Saturday, Feb. 1 with Jacksonville State at 10 a.m. Fans can enjoy free pizza between doubles and singles.
Men's Tennis - The Rebels went 0-2 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, losing two tight matches to No. 26 Michigan and No. 25 Clemson. It marked the first time the Rebels did not advance to the National Team Indoor Final 16 when hosting the first and second rounds. - Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 nationally, won both his singles matches in straight sets to improve to 11-5 on the year. Scholtz will be competing for his home country, South Africa, this weekend in Davis Cup play in Pretoria, SA. It marks the third time for him to represent his country in the Davis Cup. - Senior Johan Backstrom also won both his singles matches in straight sets to improve to 34-27 in dual matches for his career. - The Rebels have annually ranked among the nation's attendance leaders. Saturday they had 575 fans for their opening round match of the ITA Kick-Off.
Rifle - The Rebels competed in the Withrow Invitational this past weekend in Murray, Ky. The team shot a 4623 aggregate, including 2284 in smallbore and 2239 in air rifle. - Freshman Ali Weisz continues to pace the Rebels, as she led the team with an aggregate of 1162, including a 588 in air rifle and 574 in smallbore. - The Rebels are back in action Feb. 5 at Memphis, before hosting Navy on Feb. 8.
Wednesday Men's basketball at Tennessee - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday Women's basketball at South Carolina - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Women's tennis vs. Jacksonville State - 10:00 a.m. Men's basketball vs. South Carolina - 12:30 p.m.
The Ole Miss men's tennis team, ranked No. 10 in the nation, lost a pair of hard-fought matches in the ITA-Kick-Off Weekend, first to No. 26 Michigan (4-3) on Saturday and then to No. 25 Clemson (4-2) on Sunday.
"The first thing that I saw was Nik Scholtz played really well, and he's really proving himself to be one of the best players in the country. The other person if I single out what I really liked is Johan Backstrom who played great," head coach Billy Chadwick said of the weekend. He played absolutely great."
Scholtz, ranked No. 15 in the nation, won both of his singles matches at No. 1 singles in straight sets. It was vintage Scholtz, a two-time All-American, who battled elbow injuries late last season.
The story of the weekend, however, was the stellar play of Johan Backstrom, the team's lone senior. He won both of his singles matches, including a dominant 6-0, 6-4 win over Clemson's Austin Ansari on Sunday.
Backstrom entered the weekend with a 32-27 career record in dual singles matches, having played mostly No. 5 and No. 6 singles in his first three seasons for the Rebels.
And after being limited to just two matches, both in doubles, during the fall season, the Uppsala, Sweden native is playing perhaps the best tennis of his career.
"I played very well in both matches this weekend, especially today in my first set," Backstrom said. "It was really good. I was doing what we have been working on in practice with the coaches, so that's a great feeling to be able to show that improvement in a match. It was good for me."
Ole Miss has a relatively young team, especially at the bottom of the lineup in singles and doubles, including redshirt freshman Vinod Gowda at No. 5 singles and Zach Wilder at No. 6 singles, as well as sophomore Joe Rogers who teamed with Wilder at No. 3 doubles.
This weekend marked the first career dual matches for both Gowda and Rogers, while it was the third and fourth career dual singles matches for Wilder.
"They're fighting very hard," Backstrom said. "It's tough to come in there. Vinod had a great effort today coming back. Yesterday, it was first dual match. He showed today that he learned from that and he was able to come back today. Zach just has to keep on working, and I'm 100 percent sure he will play better and better through the season and bring us some wins in the future."
Backstrom has embraced his role as one of the older, more experienced players, as he looks to continue his steady play and help the underclassmen on the team.
"You have to act more like a leader and lead by example in everything you do, on and off the court," he said. "You help the younger guys to play at their potential. It's a different feeling when you're out there, but I like it."
Three things from Ole Miss men's tennis head coach Billy Chadwick, previewing the ITA Kick-Off this weekend at the Gillom Sports Center Saturday and Sunday:
1. Four Top 26 Teams The No. 10 ranked Ole Miss men's tennis opened the 2014 season at the MLK Invitational this past weekend on the campus of Georgia Tech with singles and doubles matches against Georgia Tech, No. 3 Georgia and No. 21 Memphis. Among the highlights included a pair of singles wins each for junior Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 in the nation, and sophomore Stefan Lindmark.
"Our objective was to prepare for this weekend coming up," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "The format of the tournament that we went to guaranteed three singles and three doubles matches. It was against great competition, so we feel like we accomplished what we wanted to. We're better prepared for this weekend."
Ole Miss now turns its attention to the ITA Kick-Off this weekend, where it hosts No. 22 Illinois, No. 25 Clemson and No. 26 Michigan at the Gillom Sports Center. The winner of the two-day regional advances to the National Team Indoor Feb. 14-17 in Houston, Texas.
"You're looking at four teams in this regional that are very equal, all very strong from top to bottom, our team included," Chadwick said. "There is no one that wouldn't say this is the strongest regional in the country. We have to take advantage of playing here at home and we need to make that the difference in putting us over the hump. If we get a good crowd out there, it can be the difference in us advancing to the Final 16."
"It's a huge opportunity and it's a very important weekend for our team," senior Johan Backstrom said. "All three teams coming here are really good teams. If we get through these two matches, it's a key for the rest of the season. Going to the National Indoor, where you are guaranteed three matches against the top teams in the country, can be a huge importance the rest of the season as far as rankings."
2. Michigan Rematch
The Rebels will face No. 26 Michigan Saturday at 10 a.m. in the first round, with No. 22 Illinois against No. 23 Clemson in the other first-round match. The winners will meet Sunday.
The match with Michigan marks a rematch from the 2012 NCAA second round. Ole Miss defeated Michigan 4-2 to advance to the Sweet 16, the program's 16th Sweet 16 appearance. Backstrom clinched the match with a 6-3 win in the third set at No. 5 singles.
"We saw them two years ago when the NCAA sent them down here when we were hosting the regionals," Chadwick said of Michigan. "We had a tough, tough battle with them. They're always well prepared. The coach for them, Bruce Berque, used to be the assistant at Florida for years, so we're familiar with him and the job that he did there. And he has made Michigan a top-25 program, year in and year out."
"Hopefully we can play as well as we did in that match and get through them to face either Illinois or Clemson," Backstrom added.
3. New Doubles Pairing
The doubles point was a key to success for Ole Miss last season, with the Rebels posting a 13-2 record when winning the doubles point, compared to 3-7 when losing the doubles point. Lindmark and junior William Kallberg, ranked No. 51 in the nation, solidified themselves as a team winning the ITA Southern Regional in the fall and participating in the ITA National Indoor.
Last season, Scholtz teamed with Jonas Lutjen and ended the season ranked No. 4 in the nation and posted a 20-7 overall record, including 15-3 at No. 1 doubles. With Lutjen graduated, Scholtz now teams with Backstrom, and they posted a 6-4 win at No. 1 doubles against the nation's No. 12 team from Georgia this past weekend.
"I was very impressed with Johan's doubles last year, so he was the logical one to step in and play with Nik," Chadwick said. "Johan has really good returns and he has a really big serve. Those two things are essential when you're playing against the top doubles teams in the country. We have the makings of a good team with Johan and Nik."
"It's always fun playing with such a great player," Backstrom said. "We got better and better each match, and hopefully we can keep on getting to know each other as doubles partners, improve throughout the season and hopefully do some great things."
Ole Miss Athletics Week In Review Jan. 13-19, 2014
This is a new feature we're going to do each week on the blog. Each Monday we will recap everything that has happened in the past week in Ole Miss athletics, and we will also list a schedule of upcoming games, matches and meets.
- Senior guard Marshall Henderson was named SEC Player of the Week after posting 22.0 points and 3.5 assists in a pair of wins last week. - Sophomore forward Anthony Perez scored a career-high 22 points in a road win at South Carolina. It was the Rebels' first win in Columbia since 2001. - Freshman forward Sebastian Saiz scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the overtime win over LSU on Wednesday. Ole Miss outscored the Tigers 19-5 in the overtime period to blow past LSU.
Track & Field
- The No. 16 Ole Miss men and the Rebel women performed well against high-level indoor track & field competition at last weekend's Auburn Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., led by another meet record by pole vaulter Sam Kendricks. - Kendricks set a meet record and bested the next closest vaulter by a foot and a half with his winning clearance of 18-0.5. It was the second straight weekend that he set a meet record, as he established the nation's best vault of the indoor season a week earlier with his school-record 18-4.75 at the UAB Blazer Invitational en route to SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Week honors. - Other highlights included senior Phillip Young in the triple jump (52-2.5), freshman Jalen Miller in the 60 meters (6.67) and 200 meters (21.45), sophomore Onyi Afoaku in the weight throw (62-10.75), and freshman Robert Domanic in the mile (4:07.20), all of which rank highly in the NCAA this year. - For the women, senior Fabia McDonald had a strong pentathlon score of 3,989 (just off her school record of 4,005) that ranks her second nationally this year.
- The No. 11 ranked Rebels participated in the MLK Invitational hosted by Georgia Tech Jan. 18-20. - The round robin format included doubles and singles against Georgia Tech, No. 3 Georgia and No. 21 Memphis. No team scoring was in effect. - Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 nationally, went 2-1 in singles to lead the Rebels. Scholtz also teamed up with Johan Backstrom in doubles for the first time − after two years with former All-American Jonas Lutjen − and the pair defeated 12th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland from Georgia. - Ole Miss hosts the ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan. 25-26. The Rebels face No. 26 Michigan Saturday at 10 a.m. The regional also includes No. 22 Illinois and No. 23 Clemson.
- The Rebels participated in the Michigan Invitational Jan. 18-20 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The team played singles and doubles against No. 11 Michigan, No. 21 Georgia Tech and South Florida. - Junior Julia Jones and sophomore Marija Milutinovic went 2-1 in singles. Jones improved to 11-4 on the year and Milutinovic improved to 8-4. - Freshman Zalina Khairudinova made her debut for the Rebels, going 1-1 in singles and 2-0 in doubles with Julia Jones. - The Rebels host Jackson State Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center in their home and dual match opener. Admission is free and fans will receive an Ole Miss tennis t-shirt and enjoy popcorn between doubles and singles.
- Ole Miss went 0-2 on the week with an 80-74 loss to No. 24/25 Vanderbilt, and a heartbreaking 68-65 road loss to Arkansas. Ole Miss is now 9-10 on the year and 0-5 in SEC play. - Valencia McFarland set a new career-high against Vanderbilt with 28 points, besting her previous mark of 25 set against Alabama in 2010-11 - Tia Faleru picked up her fifth game or 20 or more points with 20 points against Vanderbilt, she has reached the 20+ mark six times in her career. - Faleru is nearing the 1,000-point mark, as she is just 245 points from the milestone. She would become Ole Miss' 17th 1,000-point scorer. - Monique Jackson posted her first game in double-figures this season with a career-high 11 points and six rebounds, going 5-of-5 from the field against Arkansas.
- After an almost two-month break, the Rebels began the spring season hosting No. 4 Jacksonville State and No. 5 Nebraska. - The Rebels posted a season-high aggregate of 4637, falling to Nebraska (4643) by just six shots. Jacksonville State finished with a 4655. - Senior Alivia Yeager shot a season-high 577 in smallbore to lead the Rebels. She finished with a season-high aggregate of 1157. - Freshman Alison Weisz tied her season-best with a 591 in air rifle. Weisz, with a 567 in smallbore, eclipsed her season average in aggregate with a season-high total of 1158. - Senior Abbey Stanec scored above her average in total aggregate with an 1165.
Monday Men's tennis - Georgia Tech Invitational - All Day Women's tennis - Michigan Invitational - All Day
Wednesday Women's tennis vs. Jackson State - 2:00 p.m. Men's basketball at Vanderbilt - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday Women's basketball vs. Mississippi State - 6:00 p.m.
Friday Track & Field - Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational - All Day
Saturday Men's tennis vs. Michigan - 10:00 a.m. Women's tennis vs. Oklahoma - 2:00 p.m. (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) Men's basketball vs. Mississippi State - 3:00 p.m. Track & Field - Vanderbilt Indoor Invitational - All Day
Sunday Rifle - Withrow Invitational - 8:00 a.m. (Murray, Ky.) Women's basketball vs. LSU - 1:00 p.m. Men's tennis vs. Clemson/Illinois - TBA (Oxford, Miss.) Women's tennis vs. Alabama/William & Mary - TBA (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Three things from Ole Miss men's tennis head coach Billy Chadwick, previewing the 2014 season and the Rebels' first tournament, the MLK Invitational at Georgia Tech, which starts Saturday:
1. 'He Can Be The Best Player In The Country'
As Chadwick enters his last season as head coach before retiring after the season, he told the team he wants to make this their best spring, and it all starts with two-time All-American Nik Scholtz, who is ranked No. 15 in the nation.
"Nik Scholtz, if he gets to playing like he can play, he can be the best player in the country," Chadwick said. "He can win the NCAA's. He's one of those who are up there. He will be playing at the top spot for us."
The junior from Caledon, South Africa, ended the 2013 season ranked No. 17 in the nation in singles and No. 4 doubles. He posted a 20-9 overall record, 12-6 at No. 1 singles, and teamed with now-graduated Jonas Lutjen for a 20-7 overall record in doubles, despite battling an elbow late in the season.
"He has to be healthy," Chadwick said of Scholtz. "There are different things that we have been working on that are necessary for him, if he's going to make the transition from college to pro, and he has a good pro future ahead of him. If we get those things starting to fall into place, which they will, watch out for him. He's one the nation's best.
2. The Supporting Cast
Coming off a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season, Ole Miss enters the 2014 season ranked No. 11 in the nation, which is fourth among Southeastern Conference teams. The Rebels return four of their top six players, led by Scholtz, and then there's the supporting cast.
"When I look at the heart of the lineup, it's three Swedes," Chadwick said. "It's William Kallberg, Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark. Of that group, Backstrom is a senior, and he's looking to make his senior year his best year yet. We feel like that the heart of our lineup, we're looking good, and we have Vinod (Gowda) to throw in the mix also. And then to anchor things, we have Zach Wilder."
Kallberg and Lindmark are ranked No. 104 and No. 108, respectively, and combine for the nation's No. 51 doubles team. Of the three Swedes, Chadwick looks for Kallberg into the No. 2 singles spot vacated by Lutjen
"William Kallberg had an outstanding fall," Chadwick said. "If you look at his record last year, he played No. 3 and No. 4 singles, and he was the most competitive of any position we had. He played really well last year and stepped up. The match that I remember the most with him is when he clinched the match for us against Georgia. He has a real weapon with his left hand, especially with his forehand. We not only look for him to play No. 2 singles, but to play No. 2 singles and win.
3. Looking Ahead To The ITA Kickoff Weekend
The last season of the Billy Chadwick era begins this weekend at the Georgia Tech Invitational (Jan. 18-20), where Ole Miss will play singles and doubles matches against players from No. 3 Georgia, No. 21 Memphis and Georgia Tech.
It's a tune-up for the ITA Kickoff Weekend Jan. 25-26, where Ole Miss will begin play against No. 26 Michigan, followed by a match against either No. 22 Illinois or No. 23 Clemson. The Rebels' first match is scheduled for Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. at the Gillom Sports Center hours before the Ole Miss men's basketball teams hosts intrastate rival Mississippi State on campus.
"Se scheduled it to where we are going to play in the morning because basketball plays at 3 o'clock in the afternoon against Mississippi State, so we hope to make it a sports weekend for the Ole Miss fans," Chadwick said.
"It's outstanding competition in the regional that we're hosting. You have four big names in there and all of them are really good tennis programs with great history. From the first hit, it's going to be competitive. It's really going to show where we are."
Head coach Billy Chadwick will step down at the end of the 2014 season, and associate head coach Toby Hansson was named his successor and will take the reins of the program following the season.
"Coaches in waiting, we've seen that a lot but it doesn't really work in a whole lot of places," athletics director Ross Bjork said. "We had a definitive timeline and a definitive decision, and why not go through the season where we can celebrate Billy but also prep Toby because he's ready and he's capable."
With Chadwick's endorsement, Ole Miss interviewed Hansson and came to a decision to make him the next head coach in August. Continuity was also a key part of the decision, as Hansson enters his eighth year with the program.
"We went through a process where we analyzed Toby," Bjork said. "We interviewed him. We talked about recruiting and what we need to do to continue to build the program. He checked the mark on all of them. It's the right decision for the program."
An integral part of the program's success over the last seven years, Hansson knows the program in and out, and it's a dream job for the Uppsala, Sweden native and former SMU All-American.
"I had gotten some offers from other schools for different jobs," Hansson said. "When this came up, obviously this is a dream job for me. And I'm just really excited about it. I'm glad to be here."
In Hansson's tenure at Ole Miss, the Rebels have won five SEC West Championships, the regular season SEC Championship and two SEC Tournament Championships. Hansson is regarded as one of the top coaches in the country in developing players and has helped produced the most All-Americans in the country (11) during his tenure at Ole Miss.
"Toby is one of the top young coaches in the country," Chadwick said. "We have been very fortunate, and a lot of our success stems directly to him. For him to take over the program, we're not going to have a bump in the road. The program is in great hands.
"You never find anyone that does not like Toby. He's extremely likable, and at the same time, he's a good disciplinarian, and he knows tennis. He's one of the best tennis minds in the country."
Hansson has learned a lot from working with Chadwick, particularly making the players feel comfortable and create a family atmosphere with players from across the country and around the world.
"When the players come here, it's a new place," Hansson said. "Making them feel comfortable and developing them is one of the biggest keys to success."
"I'm really happy for Toby," said sophomore Stefan Lindmark, a native of Stockholm, Sweden. "He's a really great coach as well. He really loves the game. He's so into it, but that makes us even more pumped to work hard for him."
By making the announcement before the 2014 season, it's a way to have a parade for Chadwick's legendary career throughout the season, as well as give Hansson an extended period of time to find an assistant coach for when he takes over following the season.
"I got some really big shoes to fill, and I'm going to take it step by step," Hansson said. "We have a big season ahead of us, so right now, that's where my focus is."
"We know that good things are headed for us, not just in more hardware for the university, but great student-athletes and lives changed," Chancellor Dan Jones said. "It's a great day for Ole Miss."
Members of the Ole Miss men's tennis team landed in the Big Apple late Tuesday afternoon for the year's second national championship, the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor.
An elite field of men's and women's tennis players from all divisions and schools across the country have descended on the nation's largest city and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where competition will take place Nov. 7-10.
It's a highlight of the fall for players to earn a spot in the national indoor, because it's played at the site of the US Open. Ole Miss is well represented in this year's tournament with Nik Scholtz in singles and William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark in doubles.
Scholtz received an at-large bid as a finalist from the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships, while Kallberg and Lindmark earned their trip to New York by winning the Southern Region Doubles title. Scholtz is making his second consecutive appearance in the field, while the Swedish duo competes for the first time in the prestigious tournament.
REBELS AND THE NATIONAL INDOOR Ole Miss has a long-standing history at this event going back more than a decade. The Rebels have had a representative at the National Indoors 11 of the last 12 years. Scholtz will be the fifth player in the Rebels' history to play in the event more than once.
Former three-time All-American Erling Tveit qualified for the event three times and reached the quarterfinals in singles in 2006 and teamed with Jonas Berg to win the doubles consolation in 2007. The following year (2008), Berg teamed up with Bram ten Berge to reach the semifinals. In 2010, twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann finished runner-up at the national indoor.
A REMATCH Scholtz gets a rematch from the All-American Championships in October, as he faces the third seed, Julian Lenz of Baylor. This will be the third meeting between the two players. Scholtz won the first meeting last year when the two played No. 1 singles in the Rebels' 4-2 win over the Bears in the regular season. Lenz took out Scholtz in the second round of the All-American earlier this fall. This will be the first meeting between the two indoors.
"Everyone in the field is good. If you're in this tournament, you're either a top 10 player or you won your region," Scholtz said. "Success in life always requires a little bit of luck as well, but I definitely have to serve well and return well. Physically I feel great. I just have to go out there and leave it all on the court and the results will follow. If you focus on playing your best and giving it everything you have on every point, the results will come."
LEFTY DUO Kallberg and Lindmark are the sixth Ole Miss doubles team in the last seven years and fourth in a row to make the field. The lefty duo, with their 6-1 record, hope they can make a run in New York to gain some momentum for the spring season.
"It would be really good for the spring season and the team, because then perhaps we could play No. 1 doubles," Lindmark said. "That would be a lot of fun."
The Stockholm, Sweden natives will face Florida State's Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez, who own a 9-1 record and won the Southeast Regional.
As junior Nik Scholtz represents his native country of South Africa in Davis Cup this weekend, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the history of Rebel players who have participated in Davis Cup. Below is a list of countries that have been represented in Davis Cup by Ole Miss men's tennis players with the year they first played, how many nominations they've earned and the number of ties they have played in.
INDIA Mahesh Bhupathi - 1995 NCAA Doubles Champion, All-American, SEC Player of the Year, 12-Time Grand Slam Champion
First played in 1995
Has earned 35 nominations and played in 35 ties
Patrick Chucri - Four-Year Letterwinner (2000-03)
First played in 2002
Earned 20 nominations and played in 27 ties
Ali Hamadeh - 1995 NCAA Doubles Champion, Two-Time All-American, All-SEC First Team
First played in 1996
Earned 16 nominations and played in 20 ties.
Karim Alayli - 2005 All-SEC Second Team • First played in 1999 • Earned 20 nominations and played in 33 ties
Mohamed Ridaoui - 1991 National Clay Court Champion, 1992 All-American and All-SEC • First played in 1989 • Earned 12 nominations and played in 12 ties
James Shortall - 2000 NCAA Doubles Semifinalist, All-American, Two-Time All-SEC • First played in 2000 • Earned five nominations and played in four ties
Fredrik Aarum - Three-Year Letterwinner (2004-05, 2007) • First played in 2002 • Earn four nominations and played in three ties
Adrian Forberg Skogeng - Four-Year Letterwinner (2010-13) • First played in 2010 • Earned two nominations and has played in one tie
Erling Tveit - Three-Time All-American, 2008 NCAA Doubles Finalist, 2006 NCAA Singles Semifinalist, Four-Time All-SEC • First played in 2003 • Earned 13 nominations and has played in 20 ties
Nik Scholtz • First played in 2012 • Has earned two nominations and played in one tie
Each home football game Ole Miss recognizes a student-athlete who has excelled both on the field or court and in the classroom as the "Hero in the Classroom."
Rebel men's tennis senior Johan Backstrom was honored at last Saturday's home opener against Southeast Missouri. He was featured in the game program and on the video board during the third quarter of the game.
At six-foot-five, Backstrom has played a pivotal role on the hard courts for the Rebels while also excelling in the classroom. He is the exemplary student-athlete.
Backstrom helped lead Ole Miss to a top-10 final national ranking, their 10th SEC West title, and the team's 20th consecutive NCAA appearance in 2013. With a 20-14 record in doubles, he ended the year ranked No. 58 in the nation with teammate Stefan Lindmark. Backstrom also posted 24 wins in singles including clinching wins over both No. 6 Tennessee and No. 12 Baylor.
Aside from the tennis courts, Backstrom has a current 3.89 GPA in Banking and Finance. In 2013 he earned ITA Scholar-Athlete, Capital One Academic All-District, and SEC Academic Honor Roll honors. He has been named to the Chancellor's Honor Roll every semester at Ole Miss.
Backstrom has helped the Rebels earn the Chancellor's Cup (given to team with the highest cumulative GPA) and the ITA All-Academic Team Award (requires a minimum GPA of 3.2) every year he's been here.
Stay tuned for more posts on forthcoming student-athletes recognized as the "Hero in the Classroom."
The final tennis Grand Slam of the year, the U.S. Open, begins today at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. For fun, let's take a look at the Rebels' history in America's major. MAHESH BHUPATHI Twelve-time grand slam champion Mahesh Bhupathi marks his 17th U.S. Open appearance this year. He be in doubles later this week as well as mixed doubles. Bhupathi, who became the first NCAA Champion in men's tennis history at Ole Miss when he captured the 1995 title, has won two titles at the U.S. Open. In 2002, he teamed with Max Mirnyi to win the doubles title and then in 2005, he won the mixed doubles crown with Daniela Hantuchova. Above, Bhupathi is pictured with '95 partner Ali Hamadeh and Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. The duo received a wild card into the '95 U.S. Open and advanced to the second round. DEVIN BRITTON In 2009, Mississippi native Devin Britton became the youngest ever NCAA Singles Champion and the first Rebel to win the singles crown. Just a year removed from reaching the finals of the U.S. Open Junior Championships, Britton received a wildcard into the U.S. Open main draw where he matched up against 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer, in the first round. Britton also competed in mixed doubles that year.
SEBASTIEN DeCHAUNAC Two-time All-American Sebastien DeChaunac competed in the U.S. Open singles main draw in 2001, where he lost to former world No. 1, Marat Safin, in three sets.
ALI HAMADEH Ali Hamadeh teamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi to win the 1995 NCAA Doubles Championship and later that summer the pair took to the big stage of the U.S. Open, where they advanced to the second round.
JOHAN LANDSBERG A fiery Swede who advanced to the NCAA Doubles semifinals in 1995, Johan Landsberg played in four U.S. Opens in doubles, reaching the round of 16 in 2002. DAVE RANDALL The Rebels' first All-American (1988), Dave Randall reached the quarterfinals in doubles at the 1993 U.S. Open.
The collegiate tennis season ended about a month ago with the Ole Miss men's tennis All-American duo of Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz reaching the NCAA Final Four in doubles. After a few days in Oxford, the two headed to opposite parts of the world, Lutjen to begin his pro career, and Scholtz to play in some Futures tournaments, as collegiate players often do in the summer months. The results so far indicate why they became one of the top doubles tandems in the nation.
Scholtz, who will be a junior next season, traveled to Turkey for Futures events, and teamed up with Rebel alum Tucker Vorster, also an outstanding doubles player, to capture two titles in three weeks. Their most recent title came Friday in Instanbul, where the South African duo defeated the No. 2 seeded team of Alexander Krasnorutskiy and Anton Manegin from Russia 7-6(1), 6-4. Scholtz and Vorster also won the doubles in Konya, Turkey.
One of just nine players to earn All-America honors in both singles and doubles, Scholtz also reached the final of the singles in Instanbul, where he lost a close match Saturday to the No. 2 seed.
After joining Scholtz as two of only six players to finish the 2013 season top 20 in singles and top 10 in doubles, Lutjen got his pro career off to a good start in Mexico, teaming up with fellow countryman and Southern Cal sophomore Yannick Hanfmann to capture the doubles title a week ago in Quintana Roo. They beat the No. 1 seed in the semifinals and the No. 2 seed in the final. The win marked Lutjen's first pro doubles title.
Following their wins, Lutjen is back in Germany to continue his pro career, while Scholtz heads back to the Motherland for a well-deserved break, before returning to Oxford in the fall.
The final 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National
Rankings were released Tuesday and Ole Miss is back in the top 10 for the 15th
time in the last 20 years ending the year at No. 10.
After further research, it should be noted what an accomplishment
that is.The Rebels are one of just four
teams to finish the season ranked top 10 at least 15 times in the last 20
years.UCLA (19), Georgia (17) and
Stanford (16) are the other three.
Here is a breakdown of the Rebels' final ranking the last 20
The Rebels return four of the top six in 2014 including
All-American Nik Scholtz and fellow All-SEC honoree William Kallberg, so perhaps
another top-10 finish is in the cards.
Sunday's semifinals against the Texas duo of Chris Camillone and David Holiner will feature live scoring, and if the match is played outdoors, live video. The match will start not before 3 p.m., and to access live scoring and video, go to OleMissSports.com and click on the link in the calendar.
This marks the second year in a row and seventh time overall for Ole Miss to have a doubles team in the NCAA Final Four. Scholtz and Lutjen are the fourth team in the last six years, with twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann the most recent, who reached the semifinals last year.
Mahesh Bhupathi, a 12-time Grand Slam Champion in doubles and mixed doubles including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, combined with Ali Hamedeh to win the NCAA Doubles title in 1995, the first NCAA doubles title in program history.
Ole Miss Men's Tennis In NCAA Doubles Final Four:
Mahesh Bhupathi and Ali Hamadeh win the doubles title. They ended the year ranked No. 3 in the nation and earned a wildcard into the US Open. Teammates Johan Landsberg and Remi Feneon also reached the semifinals. Landsberg went on to play professional tennis on the ATP Tour and was ranked top 50 in the world in doubles.
James Shortall and Vikrant Chadha lost in three sets in the semifinals and ended the year ranked No. 12 in the nation.
Erling Tvelt and Jonas Berg reached the final and lost 7-6(10), 7-6(6). They ended the year ranked No. 3 in the nation. Matthias Wellermann and Bram ten Berge also reached the semifinals and had match point in the third set tiebreaker before losing 12-10. A win would have guaranteed the Rebels their second NCAA doubles title in program history. The following year, Berg combined with Bram ten Berge, and they won the ITA All-American Championship and ascended to No. 1 in the nation.
After two previous first-round exits, twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann advanced to the Final Four as an unseeded team and ended the year ranked No. 11 in the nation.
Despite losing the All-American twin duo of Marcel and Chris Thiemann and playing in the toughest conference in America, Ole Miss finished the 2013 regular season with a ranking of No. 7 in the nation.
The regular season was highlighted by Ole Miss' 4-3 win over No. 3 ranked Georgia. The loss was the Bulldog's only SEC loss of the year. The Rebels also own two wins over No. 6 Tennessee, two wins over No. 12 Mississippi State and a win over No. 13 Baylor.
The Rebels claimed their 10th SEC Western Division title, giving them the title in 10 of the 12 years it has been awarded. In addition, Ole Miss also finished in the top four overall in the SEC for the 17th time in 19 years.
All of Ole Miss' success this year has come in the toughest conference in collegiate tennis. The SEC features 11 of the top 25 teams in the country, with four in the top 10. The conference also boasts many of the top players in both singles and doubles. Seven of the top 25 singles players are from the SEC and Ole Miss' Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen are ranked No. 15 and No. 20, respectively. In fact, Ole Miss is the only SEC school and only one of two schools in the nation (the other four-time defending national champion Southern Cal) to feature two top 20 ranked players. The SEC is even stronger in doubles, featuring seven of the top 10 teams including Scholtz and Lutjen at No. 4.
The 2013 regular season came to a conclusion as Ole Miss hosted the SEC Men's Tennis Championship at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center this past weekend. Thirteen of the nation's best teams descended upon Oxford for an exciting weekend of tennis. Following the tournament's conclusion, 12 of the 13 SEC teams are expected to make the NCAA Championships, which begin May 10.
The Rebels are in line to host the first and seconds round of the NCAA Championships. They have been selected to the NCAAs 20 consecutive years and hosted the first and second rounds 10 times.
As a freshman in college, Devin Britton took the nation by storm becoming the youngest NCAA Singles Champion in men's tennis history and just the third freshman ever to win the event. One of the other two in that select company is seven-time grand slam singles champion John McEnroe.
If you take a look at the top 100 on the ATP Tour, probably less than a handful played collegiate tennis. John Isner, who achieved a career-high No. 9 in the world and played four years at Georgia, is a rare exception to the rule.
Britton's goal is to get to that same stage one day. Since turning pro in the summer of 2009, he has played on the Futures and Challengers Circuit. This past year the results started to show the hard work and improvement that Britton has made in his game.
Playing in 24 tournaments in 2012, Britton achieved a career-high ranking of No. 129 in doubles and No. 404 in singles including 12 titles, 11 in doubles.
"I feel good about the progress I have made this year. I feel like the hard work is definitely starting to pay off," Britton said. "There is a lot of work left to be done though. I still have a lot of room for improvement. I look forward to keeping the numbers moving in the right direction in 2013."
To see how far Britton has come, you have to know where he started. Unlike his professional counterparts in other team sports, Britton didn't get to walk in on a Super Bowl contending team and experience a high level of success right away. He started his pro career ranked somewhere over a 1,000 in both singles and doubles. That's a long way away from the current No. 1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic.
Steadily improving since making his debut at the 2009 U.S. Open against the greatest player ever (Roger Federer), Britton began the 2012 season No. 741 in singles and No. 358 in doubles before his year-end rise.
"I think I have definitely matured a lot since I first hit the tour," he said. "It is easy to let the losses get to you out here. I think it takes time to learn how to handle the ups and downs of the tour. I have definitely gotten stronger physically and mentally along the way as well."
Britton has visited Ole Miss many times since he left, including attending this past Saturday's "Egg Bowl" win over arch-rival Mississippi State. His former coaches and teammates still keep up with him and are not surprised by his results.
"We always believed that it was just a matter of time before Devin was going to make a jump," said Rebel associate head coach Toby Hansson. "We are really excited for him and look forward to following his continued progress in 2013."
Britton's most recent title came at the JMS Challenger in Champaign, Ill., two weeks ago, where he teamed up with fellow NCAA Champion Austin Krajicek (Texas A&M) for their fifth title of the year.
"Austin and I grew up playing together at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. I have known him forever, and we know each other's games very well," Britton said. "We complement each other well on the doubles court. He is also left-handed, which is a bonus.
"He won the NCAA doubles title for Texas A&M in 2011, so the only downside is having to see his maroon attire all the time," Britton continued, laughing. "I'm only kidding, but yes we will continue to play together next year. I am hoping we will get our rankings up enough to get into the French Open and Wimbledon next year."
There is limited time for Britton to reflect on this past season's accomplishments, because 2013 is right around the corner.
"The next step is to continue to improve. I have to bust it in December to get ready for a big 2013," he said.
Former NCAA Doubles Champion Mahesh Bhupathi has won 12 grand slam titles during his illustrious pro career, but the one thing he has yet to take home is the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals trophy. Four times a runner-up, Bhupathi will get another shot at the elusive trophy today with his current partner and fellow countryman, Rohan Bopanna, as the two take on the Spanish team of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the final.
Tennis Channel will air the final at Noon CT. This match will serve as an appetizer to the main course, the singles final featuring Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Bhupathi and Bopanna, who won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in Paris last week, reached the finals in London for the first time as a duo, beating Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in three sets. Click here for a recap of Bhupathi and Bopanna's thrilling semifinal win on Sunday.
On hand in London this week to watch their former teammate are a couple of Rebel standouts themselves--All-Americans Johan Landsberg and Ali Hamadeh, who teamed up with Bhupathi to win the 1995 NCAA Doubles title.
Rebel netter alum Mahesh Bhupathi punched his ticket to the ATP World Tour Finals in doubles with his partner Rohan Bopanna. The pair clinched the eighth and final spot in the season-ending event, which kicks off next week in London.
On Friday, the fifth seeded Indian duo
scored a 6-7, 6-3, 10-4 win over 4th seeds Mariusz
Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas
Open in Paris. The Polish pair were also in contention for the final
spot in London and the winner of Friday's quarterfinal was going to clinch the final spot.
Bhupathi and Bopanna have won 2 ATP titles this season.
Most people think of professional tennis as an individual sport. There is Davis Cup, which pits one country versus another in a team atmosphere and then there is World Team Tennis. It features some of the biggest names in the world playing together in an
innovative co-ed team format that offers exciting opportunities for
players, fans, communities and sponsors.
Former Rebel Devin Britton is experiencing WTT for the first time this year as a member of the Springfield Lasers, one of eight teams in the pro league. The Springfield Lasers are one of four teams in the Western Conference.
Unlike most tennis professionals, Britton has some experience playing on a team. In 2009, he was a member of the Ole Miss men's tennis team, helping lead the Rebels to an SEC Championship as well as the NCAA Elite Eight.
Last night, the Mississippi native helped lead the Lasers to a win against the Kansas City Explorers, sending numerous fans home with souvenir tennis balls. Here is a recap from the Springfield News-Leader.
If you watched the Olympic trials tonight from Eugene, Ore., you saw a pair of Rebels earn spots on the U.S.A. Track & Field team in junior sprinter Isiah Young and former long jumper Brittney Reese. They will join India tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi and U.S.A. women's basketball assistant coach Jennifer Gillom among the Ole Miss representation in London. In our history, they will make it 11 Rebels to participate in the Olympics across all sports, and this will mark the seventh games to feature at least one Ole Miss athlete. Here is a breakdown of the all-time list.
Jennifer Gillom (USA) - gold medalist, player 1988; assistant coach 2012
Peggie Gillom (USA) - gold medalist, assistant coach 2000
Van Chancellor (USA) - gold medalist, head coach 2004
Track & Field
Allan Ince (Barbados) - men's 400 meter hurdles 1988
Gary Kinder (USA) - men's decathlon 1988
Tony Dees (USA) - silver medalist, men's 100 meter hurdles 1992
Alvin Haynes (Barbados) - men's triple jump 1992
Savante' Stringfellow (USA) - men's long jump 2000
Brittney Reese (USA) - women's long jump 2008, 2012 Isiah Young (USA) - men's 200 meters 2012
They say there's a first time for everything. Three years of hard work finally paid off for former Rebel men's tennis standout Devin Britton who captured his first pro title, the $15,000 Sacramento Futures, on Sunday. In a battle of former NCAA Champions, Britton saved two match points to defeat Jeff Dadamo (Texas A&M) 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-2.
Britton had won eight doubles titles, but was still searching for that elusive singles title until Sunday's triumph. Click here to read an account of the match, including Britton's comments, from veteran journalist Paul Bauman.
You'll note in the picture with the story that Britton, the youngest ever NCAA Singles Champion, is wearing an Ole Miss cap. Once a Rebel, always a Rebel!