Rebels Drop Tight Match To Michigan In ITA Kick-Off
Nik Scholtz and Johan Backstrom

Jan. 25, 2014

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

OXFORD, Miss. – Tennis is a game of inches where a few points here and there can make a difference, and that was the case for the No. 10 nationally ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team here Saturday against No. 26 Michigan in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.  The Wolverines won a key tiebreaker in doubles and two tiebreakers at No. 5 singles to come away with a 4-3 win in front a packed house (575) at the Gillom Sports Center.

With the win, Michigan advanced to the championship match Sunday at 1 p.m., against Illinois, who downed Clemson 4-0 in the second match.  The Rebels and Tigers will square off at 9 a.m.  

The match came down to No. 5 singles, where redshirt freshman Vinod Gowda was playing his first ever dual match against a senior in Michigan’s Barrett Franks.  After falling behind a break in the first set, Gowda broke back and actually held a set point up 6-5 in the breaker before Franks won three straight points for 6-5(6).  The second set was much like the first, with Franks going up an early break.  Gowda showed grit and fought back again to get to a tiebreaker, after Franks served for it at 5-4.  However, Franks won the tiebreaker 7-1 to clinch the match for the Wolverines.

“Michigan is a fine indoor team,” head coach Billy Chadwick said.  “It comes down to the fact that they played two tiebreakers better than we did in Vinod’s match, and they came away with the victory.  Vinod is going to be a good position for us, but right now he is ‘green.’   He got a little tight, but he’ll get over that.  We definitely want to thank the tremendous crowd for coming out and supporting us.  We play again at 9 a.m., Sunday against another very good team, and we would love to have them come back out to watch.”

The match began with Michigan taking a tight doubles point.  After the Wolverines won 6-0 at No. 3, all eyes turned courts one and two where each match was close.  William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark had just started a tiebreaker at two, when the Michigan duo of Franks and Alex Buzzi defeated Nik Scholtz and Johan Backstrom in a tiebreaker at one, 6-5(4).  

The Rebels fell behind 2-0 when Kallberg dropped his singles match to Alex Petrone 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.  But, the Rebels weren’t done.

Scholtz, ranked No. 15 in the nation, put his team on the board with a solid 6-4, 6-2 win against Vlad Stefan at No. 1 singles.  Lindmark evened up the overall score with what Chadwick called the best match of the day, winning in three sets.  After dropping the first set, Lindmark came back to defeat Justin Rossi 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Backstrom, the Rebels’ lone senior, played a solid match in defeating Michigan’s Alex Buzzi 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4 singles to give the Rebels a 3-2 lead.

“Nik is one of the best players in the country, and he showed that today,” Chadwick said. “That was impressive.  I felt like the best match played that we won, was Stefan’s.  Stefan played really well against an opponent that was playing well.  Johan is one of our really solid positions, and he showed that today.”

“It’s always disappointing to lose, especially at home,” Scholtz said. “We had a really good crowd.  We didn’t win any of the close points out there today, and time and time again that ends up being the difference. That’s the first time for Zach and Vinod to be in that situation, and hopefully they’ll learn from it.

Michigan tied the match when Michael Zhu defeated Oxford native Zach Wilder 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6 singles moments before the matter was decided at No. 5.

“We have to do a better job of taking care of some positions.  We had a look at No. 1 doubles to possibly get the doubles point and didn’t get it.  William has been struggling a little bit as of late, and we need him to step up and play like he is capable of playing.  We need to get more competitive at three doubles, because it puts too much pressure on one and two doubles.  It’s inexperience at that position.  What you are going to see early is that we’re going to struggle there, but if we work hard, we can be competitive as the season goes along.”

Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.

#26 Michigan 4, #10 Ole Miss 3

Singles
1. #15 Nik Scholtz (OM) def. Vlad Stefan (U-M) 6-4, 6-2
2. Alex Petrone (U-M) def. #104 William Kallberg (OM) 6-3, 6-2
3. #108 Stefan Lindmark (OM) def. Justin Rossi (U-M) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
4. Johan Backstrom (OM) def. Alex Buzzi (U-M) 6-2, 6-4
5. Barrett Franks (U-M) def. Vinod Gowda (OM) 6-5 (8-6), 6-5 (7-1)
6. Michael Zhu (U-M) def. Zach Wilder (OM) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles
1. Barrett Franks/Alex Buzzi (U-M) def. Nik Scholtz/Johan Backstrom (OM) 6-5
2. Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) vs. #51 William Kallberg/Stefan Lindmark (OM) 5-5 (6-6), sus.
3. Shaun Bernstein/Kevin Wong (U-M) def. Joe Rogers/Zach Wilder (OM) 6-0

Match Notes:
Michigan 3-0; National ranking #26
Ole Miss 0-1; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,1,3,4,6,5)
Attendance: 575



 

 

    • SIDEBAR: Clutch Hitting Drives Rebels in Game 2

      Saturday, February 17, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - The pitch came out of Winthrop's Colton Rendon's hand at 81 mph with the intention of breaking but hung as it floated towards Cole Zabowski at the plate. The sophomore first baseman turned and crushed it... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Rolison, Rebels Roll Past Winthrop in Opener

      Friday, February 16, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - A dominant summer in the Cape Cod League brought forth some lofty expectations for Ole Miss' Ryan Rolison, something he's never shied away from.The sophomore lefty certainly lived up to them on opening day as he put... read more

    • Rebel Alums: Where are They Now

      Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      In our second installment of Rebel Alums: Where are They Now, we take a look at the All-American twin duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann.In 2012, Marcel Thiemann became the fourth player in Ole Miss men's tennis history to... read more

    • Baseball Releases 2018 Walk Out Songs

      Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Baseball

      With the first pitch of the 2018 season just days away, check out the much-anticipated walk out music list. Which song is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @OleMissBSB and using the hashtag #RebWalkOuts.#1 Jacob Adams:... read more

    • Bianco Previews 2018 Team At Media Day

      Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - Baseball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com Mike Bianco spoke with a sense of excitement in his voice as he stood at a podium in the Diamond Club seating area at Swayze Field at media day. Ole Miss opens its 2018... read more

    • Kennedy Leaves Ole Miss Better Than He Found It

      Monday, February 12, 2018 - Men's Basketball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com One of the first things Andy Kennedy said on Monday afternoon following the announcement that he would step down at the end of next season is that he felt a sense of calmness and... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Outfield

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      The final edition of our Ole Miss softball preview looks at the Rebel outfield, a speedy and athletic group that head coach Mike Smith is excited about heading into the 2018 season.Left Field: Elantra CoxThe senior is an electric... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Pitchers

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      Part two of our Ole Miss softball preview takes a look at the Rebel pitchers. This group was headlined by Kaitlin Lee last season with Brittany Finney, Morgan Bruce and others providing solid options as well. Head Coach Mike... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Infield

      Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Softball

      Coming off the most successful season in program history, Ole Miss Softball begins its 2018 season on Friday. The Rebels come into the season ranked as high as 15th in the country and were on the cusp of reaching... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Abbey Latham

      Friday, February 2, 2018 - Softball

      In the 10th and final of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Friday's profile features first baseman/designated player Abbey Latham. Abbey Latham | 1B/DP | R/R | 5-11 | Fr. | Livingston,... read more

    • Scholtz Looks Forward to Davis Cup

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      OXFORD, Miss. - While his alma mater kicks off a big weekend with two home matches at their brand new indoor tennis center, Rebel All-American Nik Scholtz will be representing his home country, South Africa, in Davis Cup at the... read more

    • National Team Training Camp an Eye-Opening Experience for Kizer

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Soccer

      OXFORD, Miss. - CeCe Kizer established herself as one of the SEC's premier attacking players in 2017, and last month she showcased her skills at an even higher level at a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team.The week-long training... read more

    • #RebsBSB Season Preview: Bullpen

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Baseball

      The bullpen was undoubtedly the backbone of Ole Miss' 2017 team. The Rebels had arguably the strongest bullpen in the SEC, one with a variety of different arms with closer Dallas Woolfolk anchoring the back end as the team's... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Jessica Puk

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Softball

      In the ninth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Thursday's profile features utility player Jessica Puk. Jessica Puk | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington... read more

    • #RebsBSB Season Preview: Pitching Rotation

      Wednesday, January 31, 2018 -

      The third leg of our Ole Miss Baseball season preview series looks at what the Rebels' rotation could possibly look like this season. Last year, the rotation was solid for the most part but would have liked to have... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook