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.
One spot in the ITA national rankings can make all the difference. Last season, San Diego, ranked No. 44 in the country, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, while crosstown rival, San Diego State, ranked No. 45, was... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 7-13, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss improved to 29-9 on the season and 9-6 in Southeastern Conference play after a pair of nonconference wins over Memphis and Murray State in the midweek and a series win... read more
Coming off a disappointing 6-5 loss in 10 innings Saturday, Ole Miss bounced back with a dominant 12-2 win Sunday to take the weekend series against Mississippi State in Starkville. At the plate, the Rebels set season high for runs... read more
Ole Miss struck early with five runs over the first four innings, which Chris Ellis and Wyatt Short made hold up in a 6-1 win over Mississippi State Friday night at Dudy Noble Field. The leadoff man for Mississippi State... read more
Riding a six-game win streak, Ole Miss travels to face Mississippi State in a three-game weekend series as part of Super Bulldog Weekend, which also includes Saturday's Maroon-White spring football game. Mississippi State has averaged 7,700 fans at Dudy Noble... read more
The Ole Miss offense exploded for nine runs on 14 hits in a 9-1 win over Memphis at AutoZone Park. The barrage included five multi-hit games and a season-high seven extra-base hits, including home runs by Will Allen and Sikes... read more
We begin this week with No. 13 and entering the 2002 season for the Ole Miss tennis team. The Southeastern Conference implemented a new setup, dividing the conference into two divisions - SEC East and SEC West. This moment... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewMarch 31-April 6, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss picked up its second sweep in SEC play with three wins over the Auburn Tigers this past weekend, including a doubleheader sweep Saturday.- Left-handed pitcher Christian Trent posted a... read more
Ole Miss held Auburn scoreless for 22 straight innings, from the seventh inning of the series opener Friday through the sixth inning of the series finale Saturday, but the weekend sweep remained in doubt in the eighth inning of the... read more
Rising junior running back I'Tavius Mathers turned in the highlight of the Grove Bowl Saturday with a 96-yard run before he was caught from behind by rising sophomore defensive back Kailo Moore to prevent him from scoring the touchdown. "He's... read more