OXFORD, Miss. -- The No. 13 ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team punched its ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Final 16 with a dominating 4-0 win over NC State in the final round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend here Saturday afternoon at the Gillom Sports Center.
With the win, the Rebels (2-0) earned their 18th trip to the National Team Indoor Final 16 and first since 2010. This marked the third time for Ole Miss to host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, and Saturday there was never any doubt the Rebels were ready to grab a Sweet Sixteen spot from the first serve to the last point.
The Rebels quickly went ahead in all three doubles matches and never looked back. The All-American tandem of Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen powered their way to an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles against NC State’s Sean Weber and Dave Thomson. Stefan Lindmark and Johan Backstrom clinched the point, downing State’s Robbie Mudge and Thomas Wiegel 8-3 at No. 3.
In Friday’s first round win against Columbia, the Rebels needed three sets from both Scholtz and Lutjen in their 4-1 win, but Saturday both players showed why they are two of the best in the nation, dominating in two sets to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.
Lutjen, ranked No. 5 in the nation, was first off the court taking out Thomson 6-1, 6-2 on court two. Moments after, Scholtz, currently ranked No. 33, finished off Austin Powell 6-2, 6-3 at the top spot to make it 3-0.
Rebel fans could sense the outcome was near, and just as Backstrom and Lindmark were getting ready to go on court, sophomore William Kallberg ended the matter with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Mudge at No. 3 singles.
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