SEATTLE – For the second time in less than two weeks, the No. 12 ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team faced No. 10 Mississippi State, this time in the team’s final match at the ITA National Team Indoors Sunday. The Rebels got revenge for the earlier loss in the River Hills Mississippi Cup, taking down the Bulldogs 4-2 at the Seattle Tennis Club.
The win snaps a four-match losing streak for the Rebels in the series and they conclude an overall successful weekend 2-1 after their win against No. 14 Tennessee on Saturday.
“This was a huge win for us,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We stopped the streak and got it going in the right direction. It was big to get the doubles point, especially after we served for it at 7-6 and didn’t get it. Stefan played well at five and Nik played great at one. He served well and played well off the ground. Great to see Nik beat (Romain) Bogaerts after losing to him down in Jackson. Sko stepped up and closed it out for us again. All-in-all, it was a great weekend. To win two out of three against the top 16 teams in the nation, we’ll take it.”
In the previous meeting this year, the Rebels did not get off to a great start, dropping the doubles point. Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 16 in the nation, struggled in their match in Jackson, but this time, they downed 13th-ranked Malte Stropp and Jordan Angus 8-4 at No. 1.
After State won the No. 3 match 8-4, all eyes turned to court two, where William Kallberg was serving to give the Rebels the doubles at 7-6. Unfortunately, the State duo of Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson broke to force a tiebreaker. The 25th-ranked Reb tandem lost the first two points and then won seven straight to clinch the doubles.
In three prior meetings this year, Scholtz, ranked No. 24, and Bogaerts, ranked No. 19, had gone three sets twice, including down in Jackson. Bogaerts had won the two earlier indoor meetings, but Scholtz stepped up big Sunday winning 6-4, 6-2 to put the Rebels ahead, 2-1. Moments later, Lindmark finished off Bulldog Stefan Vinti 6-4, 6-1 at court five to push the lead to 3-1.
Two of the three remaining matches went three sets just like they did in Jackson. State’s James Chaudry defeated 40th-ranked Kallberg 6-0, 1-6, 6-2 on court three to cut into the lead.
Forberg Skogeng won a key first set tiebreaker 7-6(5) against State’s Zach White, while Lutjen and Stropp, who have played many times, headed to a third set for the second time in two weeks at No. 2 singles. With those two locked at 2-2 in the third, Forberg Skogeng made sure it wouldn’t be necessary, taking the second set against White 6-3 to clinch the victory.
The Rebels will now move outdoors for the rest of the season as they host Memphis Feb. 26 at 2 p.m., at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
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