Rebels Drop Another Hard-Fought Match At ITA Kick-Off

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 26, 2014

Complete Results | Photo Gallery 

BLOG: Backstrom Leads By Example At ITA Kick-Off

OXFORD, Miss. - It has been said sometimes adversity is what you have to face to become successful.  For the No. 10 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team, this weekend was not what they wanted, as they came away with two tough losses in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, the latest, a 4-2 setback to No. 25 Clemson on Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center.

Sunday's 4-2 loss to Clemson went much like Saturday's 4-3 loss to Michigan, with the Rebels unable to win any tiebreakers and very few deciding points.

"It's tough, because we wanted to advance," head coach Billy Chadwick said.  "We have a young team at some different positions, especially five and six.  We had an injury up at the top with William Kallberg, and he's getting over that.  We knew it was going to be tough.  I am proud of the guys, they fought hard.  We played better top to bottom today than we did on Saturday.  The objective with these early matches is to see the weaknesses and what we need to improve on.  We know we what need to work on, and the guys are committed.  We've got our sights on the SEC season."

Doubles was the Achilles heel again for the Rebels.  Clemson won 6-1 at No. 3 doubles and then clinched the point with a 6-3 win at No. 2.  

Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 15 in the nation, showed why is one of the best players in the country, capping his weekend with another strong performance in singles.  He took out Clemson's Hunter Harrington 6-4, 6-3 to improve to 11-5 overall, 2-0 in dual matches.  Johan Backstrom also turned in a great performance this weekend in singles, winning both his matches in straight sets as well. Sunday, he defeated Austin Ansari 6-0, 6-4.  

"I played well this weekend in both matches, especially in the first sets," Backstrom said. "I've been working with the coaches in practice on some things, and it was great to be able to show it in the matches."

Sophomore Stefan Lindmark won a big three-setter Saturday against Michigan, but came up short Sunday after dropping a tough tiebreaker to Clemson's Alejandro Augusto.  Augusto was able to win the tiebreaker 9-7 and then used that momentum to win the second set 6-1 giving his team the lead.

"Nik Scholtz played really well.  He has really proven himself to be one of the best players in the country," Chadwick said.  "Johan played absolutely great.  The person I thought fought the hardest this weekend was Stefan.  He fought hard in both matches, but he got a little unlucky in today's match.  With the no ad scoring, the difference in winning and losing comes down to a point here and there."

The match came down to courts five and six again with the Rebels needing to win both to win the match. Vinod Gowda, playing just his second dual match for the Rebels, was on the verge of winning, when Clemson clinched.  After dropping the first set 6-1, Gowda came back to win a second set tiebreaker 7-4 to keep the Rebels alive.  He was leading 5-3 in the third when the match ended.

In the deciding match at No. 6, Oxford native Zach Wilder served for the first set up 5-4, but CU's Fernando Sala broke to force a tiebreaker. Wilder held a set point there, but Sala won three straight points to win the set 6-5(6).  In the second set, Sala jumped to an early break, but Wilder battled back.  Unfortunately, at 4-4, he was broken again and Sala served it out 6-4 to clinch the win for the Tigers.

"Vinod was much improved, and was about to win," Chadwick said.  "Even though Zach lost, he played much better than he did the day before.  He doesn't quite have the experience to step up and deliver in this type situation.  I think he lost at least three 3-3 all points in the second set, but if you play enough matches, that evens out.  Overall, we just didn't win enough of the big points as Michigan did the first day and Clemson did the second day."

The Rebels will be back in action Feb. 7 when they host Southern Miss.

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

#25 Clemson 4, #10 Ole Miss 2

Singles
1. #15 Nik Scholtz (OM) def. Hunter Harrington (CU) 6-4, 6-3
2. Dominique Maden (CU) def. #104 William Kallberg (OM) 6-2, 6-4
3. Alejandro Augusto (CU) def. #108 Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-5 (9-7), 6-1
4. Johan Backstrom (OM) def. Austin Ansari (CU) 6-0, 6-4
5. Vinod Gowda (OM) vs. Luke Johnson (CU) 1-6, 6-5 (7-4), 5-3, unfinished
6. Fernando Sala (CU) def. Zach Wilder (OM) 6-5 (8-6), 6-4
Doubles
1. Hunter Harrington/Dominique Maden (CU) def. Nik Scholtz/Johan Backstrom (OM) 5-3
2. Alejandro Augusto/Robert Dudley (CU) def. William Kallberg/Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-3
3. Luke Johnson/Austin Ansari (CU) def. Joe Rogers/Zach Wilder (OM) 6-1
Match Notes:
Clemson 4-1; National ranking #25
Ole Miss 0-2; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,1,3,4,6)

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Aug. 25-31)

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewAug. 25-31, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss opened the 2014 season with a 35-13 win over Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.- The Rebels led 7-6 entering the fourth quarter... read more

    • ESPN's Chucky Mullins Documentary to Debut Thursday

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - Football

      The SEC Storied documentary "It's Time," centered on the the inspirational friendship between former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines and former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins, will premiere on Tuesday on the Vanderbilt campus and will debut on... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Aug. 31

      Sunday, August 31, 2014 - Athletics

      This is a new concept we've created for the Ole Miss Sports Blog that we're calling Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-Boise State

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      The No. 18 Ole Miss football team won the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game defeating Boise State 35-13. The Rebels move into Southeastern Conference next week with a road test at Vanderbilt from Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The... read more

    • 'The New Normal' on Defense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- Boise State had been the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 40.2 points per game dating back to the 2000 season.  Highlighted by four interceptions, eight tackles for loss and big hits by several different players, the... read more

    • Second-Half Surge for Rebel Offense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- After an up-and-down first half, which included a touchdown and three interceptions, senior quarterback Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss offense found their stride in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Leading 7-6 early in the... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Boise State Motivational

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Boise State Official Team Motivational '14 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Boise State

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss opens its 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Boise State from Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Contrast in Experience Boise State has one of the youngest teams in the country with 67 freshmen... read more

    • Volleyball Opens Steven McRoberts Era

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Volleyball

      Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 1 (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Dome, Sweet Dome for Atlanta Area Rebels

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - Football

      For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships.  For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Forward Together Construction Update

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • Relentless is the Word on Defense

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Football

      ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word.  Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense.  And... read more

    • McCormick, Defense Shine in Win

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Soccer

      After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more

    • Rebels Battle to Draw on Historic Night

      Friday, August 22, 2014 -

      Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more