JACKSON, Miss. – The No. 21 nationally ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team won the doubles point against 14th-ranked Mississippi State in the annual Mississippi Cup here Thursday night at the River Hills Club, but the Bulldogs came out firing in singles and hung on for a 4-2 win in a six hour battle.
The match came down to a three-setter at No. 5 singles between a pair of seniors in Ole Miss’ Chris Thiemann and MSU’s George Coupland. Coupland broke twice to start the set and held to win it 6-1 to clinch the 4-2 victory.
When the match was stopped sophomore Johan Backstrom led State’s Antonio Lastre 2-0 in the third set.
The victory marked the first time for Mississippi State (6-2) to win back-to-back matches against the Rebels (2-2) in more than a decade. The Bulldogs won the River Hills Cup in 1998, the regular season SEC meeting in 1998 and the 1999 River Hills Cup. Since that time, the Rebels had won 26 in a row until last year’s regular season loss in Starkville.
“It was pretty close to what we thought that it was going to come down to one match. We had a couple of good looks on Marcel’s match. I thought that was a key match. Nik did a good job of winning at one, we did a good job in the doubles, and we were up 3-0 in the third at No. 6. We needed one more point, and Chris gave a great effort. Give State a lot of credit, they’re very solid through the middle of their lineup.”
Ole Miss got on the board first by taking an exciting doubles point. Head coach Billy Chadwick changed up his doubles from the first three matches, including splitting up the senior duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann. Mississippi State’s Coupland and Artem Ilyushin defeated Chris and William Kallberg at No. 2 8-5 and then Marcel and junior Jonas Lutjen picked up an 8-4 win at No. 1 against State’s Louis Cant and Malte Stropp. All eyes then focused on court three, where the Rebel tandem of Nik Scholtz and Johan Backstrom gained a break at 7-7 and then Backstrom served it out for the 9-7 win against James Chaudry and Ethan Wilkinson to clinch the point.
State’s Stropp evened the match with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Lutjen at No. 3 singles. After losing the first game, 90th-ranked Stropp won six straight to win the first set and then got up 5-2 in the second, before Lutjen won two games. Stropp then served it out.
Scholtz won a three-set affair at No. 1 singles against MSU’s Chaudry to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead. The South African won the first set 6-3, but Chaudry, ranked 79th in the nation, came back to get the second set 6-3. Scholtz gained an early break in the third and dominated 6-1 to improve to 2-1 at No. 1 singles.
The Rebels saw that lead go away with losses at No. 4 and 2 singles in that order. Kallberg dropped a straight set 6-3, 6-2 decision to State’s 45th-ranked Cant and then Marcel lost his match to Bulldog, Ilyushin, in three sets. After winning the first set 6-3, Thiemann got down 4-1 in the second. He battled back but lost his serve again and the set 6-3. Ilyushin won the decisive set 6-2.
Ole Miss heads to Brownsville, Texas next weekend for the USTA Futures event. Their next collegiate match is Feb. 28 at home against Memphis.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman ShowListen:... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more