OXFORD, Miss. -- It was a classic down to the wire SEC battle between two of the nation's best, No. 9 Ole Miss and No. 7 Georgia, here Friday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. Sophomore William Kallberg rallied to win his match at No. 4 singles to clinch the 4-3 victory for the Rebels.
With the win, the Rebels improved to 9-2 overall and 3-0 in the SEC, while Georgia fell to 9-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Ole Miss will host No. 10 Tennessee Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans will enjoy free hot dogs between doubles and singles.
"Big day for the Rebels. Any time you beat Georgia in tennis, you've accomplished something, and we are so proud of the guys," head coach Billy Chadwick said.
For the third straight league match it came down to the last player on court for the Rebels to beat the Bulldogs for the first time since 2009. The Rebels trailed 3-1 before consecutive wins from All-Americans Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz tied it up.
With the match all square, everyone else descended to the lower courts for the final match at No. 4 singles with Kallberg in a third set against Bulldog freshman Austin Smith. Kallberg lost the first set 6-1, but rallied to win a huge second set tiebreaker, 7-6(7). He gained an early break in the third set, but Smith broke back to make it 4-4. Kallberg broke again and then served it out, including an ace on match point.
"It was another close match and an important win," Kallberg said. "We showed that we are a tough team, everybody fights from top to bottom. Today it was my turn to clinch the final win. Everyone has been fighting hard every point and that is how you walk away with three straight 4-3 wins."
Ole Miss got on the board first by winning the doubles point, which proved to be the difference yet again. The Rebels changed up their doubles slightly, allowing freshman Adriaan du Toit to make his debut alongside Kallberg at three. Georgia won that one 8-3 though. In a top-10 matchup, Scholtz and Lutjen, ranked No. 5 in the nation, downed sixth-ranked Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters 8-4 at No. 1. All eyes then turned to court two where Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark secured an 8-6 win over 32nd-ranked Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux.
Georgia rebounded to win four first sets. Pasha defeated Lindmark, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3 singles to tie it. It was Lindmark's first match at that spot and his first SEC loss.
The Bulldogs took the lead when Brasseaux downed senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. They increased their lead to 3-1 as Pieters topped Backstrom 6-4, 6-0 at No. 5.
Lutjen, ranked No. 5 in the nation, followed up with a 7-5, 6-1 win over 95th-ranked Wagland at No. 2 singles to pull the Rebels within one. Not long after Kallberg got his match to a deciding set, Scholtz, ranked No. 12, finished off 11th-ranked KU Singh 6-2, 7-6(2), setting up the final outcome.
"It was key getting the doubles point," Chadwick said. "We did an excellent job at No. 1 doubles, like we've been doing all year. We had to move our No. 3 team to No. 2, and they came through. We switched up the No. 3 and 4 singles to give them a little bit different look than in Seattle. Both guys are very equal, so we've got the ability to do that.
"We have another tough one on Sunday against Tennessee. We'll enjoy this one for a little bit, then it's back to work."
By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsOle Miss raced past another non-conference opponent at home this week. The Rebels returned to their usual form after a conference loss at Florida last week, racking up 665 yards of total offense,... read more
Ole Miss' historic win over Alabama last Saturday was not only popular with members of Rebel Nation, it was among the most-watched college football games of the year.The Rebels' thrilling 43-37 victory over the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium was the... read more
By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThe road to the College Football Playoff includes many tests along the way. The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0 SEC) just passed their first, proving that they are a legitimate contender after knocking... read more
Offense, defense and special teams. Ole Miss dominated all three aspects of the game as the 15th-ranked Rebels routed UT Martin 76-3 in the season opener. The 60,186 fans, mostly dressed in white, anticipated an exciting start to the 2015... read more
It's finally here...game week! It's been 242 days since the Ole Miss Rebels last took to the gridiron for a clash of the helmets. After a successful 2014 campaign in which Ole Miss knocked off a No. 1-ranked team... read more
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more
Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more
As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more
Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more
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