Rebel Netters Sweep Southern Miss In Season Opener

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Freshman Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Freshman Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 26, 2012

Results

OXFORD, Miss. -- The Ole Miss men’s tennis team, ranked No. 23 in the nation, swept Southern Miss in their season opener here Thursday at the Gillom Sports Center to begin the much-anticipated 2012 season.

Head coach Billy Chadwick has assembled a team he feels is talented enough to compete with the top teams in the SEC and the nation, and Thursday the team delivered a complete win.

“The guys were very excited to play our first dual match, especially the freshmen on the team.  There is a lot of excitement with this team, and I think the fans saw that,” said Chadwick who opened his 30th campaign with the Rebel men.

The Rebels swept the doubles dropping only seven games total.    After teaming with his brother for an 8-3 win at No.1 doubles, two-time All-American Marcel Thiemann took out Golden Eagle newcomer Juan Escobar at No.2 singles to give Ole Miss a 2-0 lead.

Highly touted freshman Nik Scholtz made his debut and won in straight sets at No. 1 singles to increase the Rebels’ lead to 3-0.

It’s never easy, Chadwick noted, for a freshmen to play the first home match, especially at the top spot.  But, Scholtz delivered right off the bat, winning the first game with four straight aces.

“We’ve said a lot of good things about him,” Chadwick said.  “I think he showed that today. He came out in the doubles and played really well as did his partner, Jonas Lutjen.  In singles, he really put on a display.  Any time you make your debut and you’re playing at the top position, it’s going to be tough.  I thought he did an excellent job.”

Scholtz was probably the most anticipated player fans wanted to see, mainly because he was here last year but could not play, and then missed the fall with a stress fracture in his pelvis.  He said he was excited to get the first match out of the way.

“Obviously there was a little bit of nerves with it being my first match for Ole Miss. I’ve been waiting a year and a half for this, so it’s been a long wait,” said Scholtz, a semifinalist at the SEC Indoor two weeks ago.   “I’m glad I got it under my belt and I think I played pretty well.

“I think it’s all going to come together, and I want to thank our graduate assistant athletic trainer Jon Williams, the team’s strength and conditioning coach, John Simmons, and the coaches with helping me get back ready to play in top form after the injury.  This was all worth the wait,” he added.

Chadwick has stated that junior Jonas Lutjen is one of the most improved players, not just on the team, but in the conference.  He showed that at the SEC Indoor with his semifinal appearance, and in the season opener he demonstrated it again, grinding out a tough straight set win to clinch the match for the Rebels.

Lutjen won the first set in a tiebreaker and then got down 4-0 in the second set before winning six straight games to beat USM’s Paulo Alvarado 7-6(2), 6-4.  

“We’ve been working hard for this for a year, and we were excited to play this match,” Lutjen said.  “I have to give credit to the other guy too, he played really well.  It’s important to try and stay focused in the match even when you’re not playing your best, and find a way to win. I was able to do that.”

Sweden’s William Kallberg also made his debut winning 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4 singles.  Senior Chris Thiemann won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 singles, and sophomore Johan Backstrom completed the sweep with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 6 singles.

“We feel like we have a great 1-2-3 punch at the top and then William Kallberg showed what he brings to the table. He has real power with his serve, and with his forehand, he’s going to be one to reckon with.  To his left you have someone as good as Chris Thiemann playing five.  When you have someone like Johan Backstrom playing the sixth position a player as good as Adrian (Forberg Skogeng) sitting on the bench that’s a great position to be in.  We know he can play. With Joe Rogers at No. 8, we feel like we are a deep team 1-8,” Chadwick said.

Scholtz and Lutjen agree with their coach’s assessment and are looking forward to many more wins in 2012.

“We have a great team this semester and we’re looking forward to possibly winning the SEC Championship and maybe winning the national championship,” Scholtz said.  “We’re definitely one of the top teams in the country this year, hopefully we can put it all together and prove it on the scoreboard. Talent wise we’re up there... for sure.”

“I am really excited about the team we have this year,” Lutjen echoed.   “William is a great addition who just got here, and of course Nik was here last year, but didn’t get to play.  They’re going to make a big impact on the team.”

Next up for the team is a huge test against No. 15 Oklahoma in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Sunday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Follow the Rebels on twitter at @OleMissMTennis and on facebook at www.facebook.com/OleMissMTennis.

#23 Ole Miss 7
Southern Miss 0

Doubles
1. Thiemann/Thiemann (OM) def. Frost/Belloso (USM) 8-3
2. Scholtz/Lutjen (OM) def. Alvarado/Escobar (USM) 8-2
3. Backstrom/Kallberg (OM) def. Goodwin/Elortegui (USM) 8-2
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
Singles
1. Nik Scholtz (OM) def. Matt Frost (USM) 6-2, 6-3
2. Marcel Thiemann (OM) def. Juan Escobar (USM) 6-3, 6-3
3. Jonas Lutjen (OM) def. Paulo Alvarado (USM) 7-6(2), 6-4
4. William Kallberg (OM) def. Brad Marriott (USM) 6-2, 6-4
5. Chris Thiemann (OM) def. Inaki Belloso (USM) 6-1, 6-2
6. Johan Backstrom (OM) def. Andrew Goodwin (USM) 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3, 5, 4, 6

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more

    • Football Signees Report for Summer Classes

      Friday, May 29, 2015 - Football

      Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more