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
    • Rebels Unable to Overcome Slow Start

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Arkansas

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more

    • Rebels Ahead of Schedule in Year Three

      Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Football

      It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 10-16, 2014)

      Monday, November 17, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 16

      Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more

    • Getting Healthy, Staying Sharp on the Bye Week

      Friday, November 14, 2014 - Football

      No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited.  But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 11

      Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 11 - Presbyterian (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 3-9, 2014)

      Monday, November 10, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Nov. 9

      Sunday, November 9, 2014 - Football

      Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more

    • Wilkins, Dodson Shine in Blowout Win

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-PC

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more

    • Injuries Create Opportunities for Young Players

      Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Football

      With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 10

      Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 10 - Auburn (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Path To Atlanta: A Little Homecookin'

      Monday, November 3, 2014 - Football

      A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014)

      Monday, November 3, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014Football- No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31.- In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked... read more