Rebels Drop Tight Match To Michigan In ITA Kick-Off

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Nik Scholtz and Johan Backstrom
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Nik Scholtz and Johan Backstrom
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

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


Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 22-28)

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- 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... read more

    • PHOTOS: Week-Long Timeline of Powder Blues

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Football

      1. Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM @CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2. Wed 9/24 at 4PM @OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more

    • Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 10 A&M

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Soccer

      Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more

    • Defense Honors Mullins with Dominant Effort

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Memphis Motivational

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Memphis: Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Memphis

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense.  Senior quarterback Bo... read more

    • Rebels Rebound with Hard-Fought Draw

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Soccer

      Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night.  The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze Stresses Focus, Attention Ahead of Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more

    • Memphis Not Fazed by Big Stage

      Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - Football

      Memphis is 2-1 heading into Saturday's matchup with wins over Austin Peay (63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17) and a 42-35 loss at No. 11 UCLA. The Tigers scored two early fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the Bruins at 35-35 with 13:44... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 15-21)

      Monday, September 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- 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... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 21

      Sunday, September 21, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Rebels Finish Non-Conference on High Note

      Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Volleyball

      The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 4

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 4 - ULL (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 2 and The Season: Ole Miss... read more