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
    • 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

    • Kiffin Pleased with Defensive Line Progress

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Football

      Like defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, defensive line coach Chris Kiffin has been pleased with his players throughout fall camp, particularly the depth bolstered by the return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and the addition of sophomore Fadol Brown and... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Volleyball Day One

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Volleyball

      THE SEASON: Volleyball - Day One from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Kick-Off Season on National Stage

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Soccer

      Three things from Ole Miss soccer head coach Matt Mott, previewing the season opener against Georgia on Friday night. Rebels Look to Take Next Step Ole Miss made history this past season, not only setting a school record for wins,... read more

    • Nkemdiche Headlines Retooled D-Line

      Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - Football

      The return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and additions of sophomore Fadol Brown and freshman Marquis Haynes have changed the face of the defensive line, but freshman All-American Robert Nkemdiche remains front and center.  With a season of experience... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Sneak Peak

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football 2014: Episode 1 Sneak Peak from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Wallace: 'It's My Offense'

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more

    • VIDEO: We Are Ole Miss

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Athletics

      We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football: Fins Up (Part 2)

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Football

      In case you missed it, Fins Up (Part 1) from last year:... read more

    • Rebels Battle Injuries on Defense

      Friday, August 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that junior cornerback Carlos Davis suffered a torn ACL and will likely have surgery Monday. Davis joins sophomore cornerback Tee Shepard and junior safety Chief Brown on the list of players expected to miss... read more

    • Recapping the SEC Network Launch

      Friday, August 15, 2014 - Athletics

      The launch of the SEC Network shows the growth and vision of the 14 schools in the conference. #OleMiss-- Coach Alex (@apsimms2) August 15, 2014 That was fun! And the @SECNetwork is only getting started. #SECStoried finished strong. Great... read more

    • Ole Miss and the SEC Network Launch

      Thursday, August 14, 2014 - Athletics

      Tonight is the night!! #SECNetworkLaunch pic.twitter.com/73UYs8B0Hg-- SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 14, 2014 Historic day for SEC & #OleMiss as we celebrate the launch of the @SECNetwork at 5pm CST! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August... read more

    • Luke Breaks Down the Offensive Line

      Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Football

      The center and right tackle position battles have been two of the biggest story lines of fall camp, but as the Rebels prepped for their second preseason scrimmage Wednesday night, they are closer to solidifying the depth chart along the... read more

    • Attitude, Effort are Front and Center in Process

      Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Volleyball

      "Buy-in" is a common term thrown around by coaches. How will first-year Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts measure buy-in, as the team continues its preseason work for the upcoming season? Attitude and effort. "If we bring those two... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Soccer Day One

      Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - Soccer

      THE SEASON: Soccer - Day One from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more