Rebels Drop Close 4-3 Match To Tennessee In ITA Kick-Off Final

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Johan Backstrom
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Johan Backstrom
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 30, 2012

Results

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 23 nationally ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team got off to a slow start against No. 24 Tennessee in the final round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, but got back in the match and held a 3-2 lead, before the Vols won the final two matches for a 4-3 victory here Monday night at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center.

With the loss, Ole Miss falls to 2-1 on the season, while Tennessee (4-1) advances to the ITA National Team Indoor Final 16.

“We’re extremely disappointed obviously,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We didn’t play well in the doubles, but even after losing the point, we still had a chance to win it in the end.  We didn’t play as well as we’re capable of playing.  When you aren’t playing your best, sometimes you need a little luck to go your way, and we didn’t get any today.”

The doubles point is just one point, but Tennessee gained the early momentum by capturing it with wins on courts one and three in that order.  The twin duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann lost 8-3 to UT’s Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis and then William Kallberg and Johan Backstrom dropped their match to Jarryd Chaplin and Peter Nagovnak 8-6 on court three.  The Rebels were leading the No. 2 match 6-4.

Ole Miss won three first sets in singles as did Tennessee.  In one of those matches, Marcel Thiemann downed Vol Brandon Fickey 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles to put the Rebels on the board.  “Marcel played really well at No. 2 both days,” Chadwick said.

Tennessee regained the lead when Chaplin defeated Kallberg 6-3, 6-4 at No. 4, handing the Rebel freshman just his second loss of the early season.

“This was one match, where we felt like the match-up didn’t favor us,” Chadwick said.  “Chaplin just slices the ball all the time and rushes you.  It was tough for William to get anything going.”

Court six was one of the matches where Tennessee won the first set, but Backstrom turned the tide against Vol Taylor Patrick.  The Swede won the second set 6-4 and dominated the third 6-0 to even the overall score at 2.

“Backy didn’t play well in the first set, but he fought hard and won the second set and then played a great third set,” Chadwick said.

The Rebels took the lead momentarily when Chris Thiemann finished off UT’s Edward Jones in straight sets at No. 5.  Jones was serving for the first set at 5-4 when he appeared to roll his ankle.  Thiemann was able to break and ultimately rally to win a tiebreaker 7-6(5) after trailing in that 4-1.  He took advantage of Jones’ limited mobility to win the second set 6-2 giving his team the 3-2 lead.

In a battle between two freshmen at No. 1 singles, two breaks of serve decided the win in UT’s favor.   Nik Scholtz was broken by the Vol’s Libietis to drop the first set 6-4.   The South African won the second set 6-4, but Liebietis gained a break at 3-2 in the third and held for 6-3 to even the match at 3.

“Libietis is a big hitter. It was just a few points here and there that decided the first set.  After we got the second set, it was 50-50.  We knew whoever made a mistake first would probably lose,” Chadwick said.

All eyes then turned to No. 3 singles and a battle between junior Jonas Lutjen and UT freshman Reese.  Lutjen looked strong in the first set, winning it 6-1, but Reese hung in to win the second set 7-5.   Reese then broke Lutjen to start the final set and later gained another break. He served for the match at 5-2, but Lutjen staved off two match points for the break. At 30-30 on his serve, Lutjen missed into the net, and then Reese hit a passing shot by him for 6-3 to clinch the 4-3 win for the Vols.  

“We were so close at three, up a set and 5-4, 30-15 in the second.  Jonas had a look and the guy guessed right at the net and ended up winning that game and then breaking,” Chadwick said.

“We have to bounce back and get ready to face a very good Mississippi State team next week. They lost a tough match to Texas A&M in their final, so we’ll see who can rebound.”

The Rebels and Bulldogs will meet in the annual River Hills Mississippi Cup Thursday, Feb. 9 in Jackson at the River Hills Tennis Club.  The match begins at 5 p.m.  For tickets, call (601) 987-4438.

#24 Tennessee 4
#23 Ole Miss 3      

Doubles
1. Reese/Libietis (UT) def. Thiemann/Thiemann (OM) 8-3
2. Scholtz/Lutjen (OM) vs. Fickey/Jones (UT) 6-4, sus.
3. Chaplin/Nagovnak (UT) def. Kallberg/Backstrom (OM) 8-6
Order of Finish: 1, 3
Singles
1. Mikeilis Libietis (UT) def. Nik Scholtz (OM) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
2. Marcel Thiemann (OM) def. Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-2, 6-1
3. Hunter Reese (UT) def. Jonas Lutjen (OM) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
4. Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. William Kallberg (OM) 6-3, 6-4
5. Chris Thiemann (OM) def. Edward Jones (UT) 7-6(5), 6-2
6. Johan Backstrom (OM) def. Taylor Patrick (UT) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 6, 5, 1, 3

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 23

      Sunday, November 23, 2014 - Athletics

      It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:- A slow start (17-0... read more

    • 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