OXFORD, Miss. -- Playing without their No. 1 player, the No. 21 nationally ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team shut out visiting Southern Miss 7-0 here Friday at the Gillom Sports Center. The Rebels picked up their first win of the season to improve to 1-2.
With Scholtz out of the lineup, the Rebels shuffled their doubles lineup. Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark got back together and played No. 1 doubles. Zach Wilder and Joe Rogers finally got their first dual match win together at No. 3 doubles, 6-3 and then their teammates, William Kallberg and Vinod Gowda posted a 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles to give the Rebels the 1-0 lead.
Everyone moved up a spot in the singles, but the Rebels were ready. In the only spot where the Rebels did not win the first set, Lindmark rallied to dominate his opponent, USM’s Brad Marriott, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2 singles to make it 2-0.
Shortly thereafter, Backstrom finished off Golden Eagle Vasco Valverde 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead. He remains unblemished (3-0) in dual matches in singles.
Kallberg took care of USM’s Paulo Alvarado 6-4, 6-4 at the top spot to clinch the victory and earn his first dual match singles win of the year.
Vinod Gowda, who came agonizingly close to a couple of wins on the opening weekend of play two weeks ago, finally got his first dual match victory. He downed Alex Doleac 6-0, 6-3 at No. 4 singles to add to the total.
Oxford native Zach Wilder earned his second career dual match singles win, defeating Juan Escobar 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6 singles.
All eyes then turned to sophomore Joe Rogers, playing in his first singles dual match and first singles match in more than two years. Rogers won the first set 6-4 against Chao Yu Huang, but dropped the second 6-1. Since the match was already decided, the two played a supertiebreaker, which Rogers won 10-6 for his first singles win at Ole Miss.
The Rebels are off until Feb. 22 when they travel to Waco, Texas to face SMU followed by a match the next day against No. 7 Baylor.
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