WACO, Texas – In their first match in two weeks and their first outdoor match of the season, the Ole Miss men’s tennis team shut out SMU 4-0 at the Hurd Tennis Center here Saturday on the campus of Baylor University. The Rebels will face No. 7 Baylor Sunday at 1 p.m. to conclude the road trip.
Associate head coach Toby Hansson enjoyed an All-American career at SMU and helped lead the Mustangs to two WAC championships, three consecutive NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and two top-15 national finishes from 1997-2000.
Saturday, it was his current team – the one he will take over as head coach following the retirement of Billy Chadwick at season’s end – who took care of business against his alma mater. The Rebels won at one and three doubles and then earned straight set victories from Stefan Lindmark, William Kallberg and the clincher from freshman Ricardo Jorge at No. 5 singles.
“We played really well for our first outdoor match,” Chadwick said. “SMU always has a very good team. We were pushed in the doubles as well as the first sets in singles. The conditions were challenging, it was windy. I am proud of the guys for battling and coming away with a win, and now we have to get ready to face one of the top teams in the country tomorrow.”
With the experimental rules done with for the rest of the season, doubles returned to the regular format of an eight-game pro set. With the addition of Jorge to the lineup, Chadwick switched up the doubles somewhat. Johan Backstrom teamed up with Lindmark at No. 1 to post an 8-6 win, and then Kallberg paired with Joe Rogers at No. 3 for an 8-6 win as well to clinch the point.
The Rebels won all six first sets to keep the momentum going. Lindmark was first off the court in singles, defeating Alex Sanders 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3. Kallberg followed it up with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Mischa Nowicki on court two.
Jorge, who teamed up with two-time All-American Nik Scholtz at No. 2 doubles, delivered the knockout punch in his debut, finishing off Arkidjas Slobodkins 7-5, 6-2 at No. 5 singles.
Sunday will mark a rematch of last year's exciting match in Oxford, where the Rebels came away with a 4-2 win to lead the overall series 3-1. Baylor (7-2) currently boasts three of the country’s top players, including sophomore Julian Lenz who is ranked No. 6 in the nation.
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