OXFORD, Miss. - For the first time this season, the No. 9 ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team lost the doubles point and rallied to win a match, taking down No. 10 Tennessee 4-2 here Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center in front of a nice crowd on a rainy day.
With their two top-10 victories this weekend, the Rebels gained control of the SEC (4-0) and earned their 10th win of the season. On Friday, the Rebels rallied to knock off No. 7 Georgia 4-3 in thrilling fashion.
Tennessee was able to knock off the Rebel's top duo, Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 5 in the nation, at No. 1 doubles (8-3). Despite another win (8-5) from the team of Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark at No. 2 doubles, the Volunteers would go on to win 8-6 at No. 3 to clinch the point.
Lindmark, playing just his second match at No. 3 singles, rebounded from a tough loss on Friday to defeat UT's Brandon Fickey 6-4, 6-3 to square the match at 1.
In all previous meetings indoors, Lutjen and Volunteer sophomore Hunter Reese have played three sets. Not Sunday, as Lutjen stepped up and put away Reese impressively, 6-2, 6-3 to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead.
In a battle between two top-20 players and two of the best No. 1 players in the SEC, sophomore Nik Scholtz dropped a tough three-setter to UT sophomore Mikelis Libietis at No. 1 singles. Libietis, ranked No. 13 nationally, gained the only break in the first set to win it 6-4, but Scholtz took the second set 6-1. Libietis got an early break in the third and that was all he needed to close out 12th-ranked Scholtz 6-3. That tied the overall match at 2.
Kallberg, the hero in Friday's win over Georgia, came through in a big way against Tennessee. Playing an opponent (Jarryd Chaplin) that has frustrated him indoors each time they've played, Kallberg rose to the occasion when his team needed him. Chaplin served for the first set at 5-3, but Kallberg rallied to win it 7-5 and then he went up an early break on his way to winning the second set 6-3 to put the Rebels up 3-2.
With court six having just finished the first set, Backstrom made sure it would not be needed as he finished off UT senior Ed Jones 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 singles to clinch the victory.
The Rebels are the only remaining undefeated team in SEC play. "It's great to be 4-0, but we're not satisfied," Backstrom said. "We are going to keep going strong, and we are looking forward to the next opportunity and next challenge."
The next opportunity comes Thursday, March 14 as the Rebels welcome perennially power Baylor to the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center for a 1 p.m. match.
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more
The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more
Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more
At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more
With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more