JACKSON, Miss. - In a nearly six-hour battle between two of the top teams in the nation, the No. 12 ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team fell behind 3-0 to No. 10 Mississippi State in the 16th annual Mississippi Cup at River Hills Club, then saved seven match points to make it interesting, before the Bulldogs closed it out with a three-set win at four for the 4-2 victory.
The loss gives State their second straight win in the Mississippi Cup and their fourth in a row overall. Ole Miss had won 26 straight in the series and 10 in a row in the Cup before State won the regular season meeting two years ago to begin the streak.
Four of the matches went three sets, and unfortunately for the Rebels, three of them went to State, including the clincher at No. 4, when Bulldog freshman Jordan Angus topped Rebel junior Johan Backstrom 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
"It was a tough loss," associate head coach Toby Hansson said. "We felt like we had some chances in doubles, and then we didn't get the point. The No. 1 singles match could have gone either way, it just came down to a couple of points here or there. At No. 2 singles we had some chances in the third set, had a couple of games we could have actually won and didn't. We had game points that we lost, and that made the difference."
The match began with State taking the always important doubles point. After the two teams split the top two matches, State's Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont edged Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark 8-6 at No. 3 for the point.
State went ahead 2-0 when senior Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 5 in the nation, dropped his match to State's 81st-ranked Malte Stropp 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
Sophomore Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 33, fell to Bulldog freshman Bogaerts, ranked No. 25, in three sets in their third meeting of the year. Scholtz had won the first one, but Bogaerts won the second one in three sets. This time, it would go three as well, with Bogaerts breaking Scholtz in the 12th game of the third set to win the match 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 and put State ahead 3-0.
William Kallberg kept the Rebels' hopes alive by saving seven match points against James Chaudry at No. 3 singles, including four in the tiebreaker. Chaudry won the first set 6-3 and served for the second up 5-4. Kallberg broke and then held to go up 6-5. In the tiebreaker he saved four match points from down 6-2 and won it 10-8 to make it 3-1.
"Three was an incredible comeback, a very high level from both players," Hansson said. "Both No. 2 and 3 were played at a high level from both guys. William showed incredible fighting spirit, never giving up. He hung in there and kept his composure."
Lindmark, a freshman who had only played one set in the first two matches of the season, defeated Bulldog freshman Pedro Dumont at No. 5 singles 6-4, 6-3 to put Ole Miss within one before Angus clinched it.
"We had two or three games where we could have won and really made a move in the third set at four, and we didn't get them," Hansson said. "We were maybe a little tentative and tight. When Backy was down 1-5, he started playing a little looser and won a couple of games. Stefan was extremely solid for his first big match. He had great composure and I was very impressed. It's really fun to watch Stefan play."
When the match stopped, senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng was up 4-3 in the second and serving after having lost the first set 6-0 to MSU freshman Stefan Vinti.
The Rebels will now prepare for a match against Portland on Feb. 13 followed by the ITA National Team Indoor in Seattle, Wash., which begins Feb. 15.
"We have a quick turnaround. We have some things to work on, we're still improving on some things," Hansson said. "There are some areas we can get better. Hopefully we can use this opportunity to learn from it and get better and have a great tournament in Seattle."
Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more
The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more
With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more
Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more
Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more
The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more
Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more
Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more
Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more
In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama. - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more
With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more