Ole Miss Men's Tennis Falls to South Carolina
March 18, 2017

Complete Results |  Photo Gallery 

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss men's tennis team had match points to win the doubles, but ended up dropping the point for the difference in a 4-3 loss to No. 26 South Carolina Saturday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

The match was delayed 45 minutes due to morning rains, but then the sun came out and clouds went away making for a perfect day of tennis.  

Ricardo Jorge and Zvonimir Babic won 6-2 at No. 2 doubles, but then South Carolina took the No. 3 match 6-3. All eyes then focused on court one, where the 23rd-ranked duo of Fabian Fallert and Grey Hamilton had two match points at 5-4, but the Gamecock pair of Yancy Dennis and Harrison O'Keefe rallied to tie it 5-5. Fallert and Hamilton broke right back, but could not serve it out. South Carolina went on to win the tiebreaker 7-6(5) to clinch the point.

With their backs to the wall, the Rebels came out in singles and won three first sets, with a chance to win a fourth.

South Carolina went up 2-0 after Paul Jubb defeated Babic on court six in straight sets, but then Rebel freshman Tim Sandkaulen finished off Gamecock senior Andrew Schafer in straight sets at court three to get the Rebels on the board.

Filip Kraljevic served for his first set at 5-4, but USC's Alex Finnell broke back and then both traded service holds to go to a tiebreaker. Trailing 3-5 in the breaker, Kraljevic won two straight points to get back on serve, but then Finnell won the final two for 7-6(5). He carried the momentum into the second set winning it 6-1 to put his team ahead 3-1.

With the Rebels needing all three remaining courts, junior All-American Gustav Hansson, ranked No. 39, completed a 6-3, 6-4 win against 51st-ranked Gabriel Friedrich at No. 1 singles. 

With Fallert up a break in the third set at No. 5 singles, the Gamecocks clinched the win, with O'Keefe coming from behind win at No. 2 singles to top Jorge 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. Fallert went on to finish a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Dennis at No. 5. 

At the Net...
• The Rebels are now 6-6 on the year, 1-4 in the SEC
Tim Sandkaulen snapped a three-match losing streak and picked up his first SEC win
Gustav Hansson also ended a three-match losing streak and earned his first SEC win of the year 
Fabian Fallert improved to 14-6 overall, 8-3 in dual matches, 4-1 in the SEC
Ricardo Jorge and Zvonimir Babic improved to 8-1 overall, 5-0 in dual matches, and 3-0 in the SEC

Complete Results

1. Dennis/O'Keefe (USC) def. #23 Fallert/Hamilton (OM) 7-6(5)
2. Jorge/Babic (OM) def. Swank/Finnell (USC) 6-2
3. Friedrich/Schafer (USC) def. Hansson/Kraljevic (OM) 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1. #39 Gustav Hansson (OM) def. #51 Gabriel Friedrich (USC) 6-3, 6-4
2. Harrison O'Keefe (USC) def. Ricardo Jorge (OM) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
3. Tim Sandkaulen (OM) def. Andrew Schafer (USC) 6-2, 6-1
4. Fabian Fallert (OM) def. Yancy Dennis (USC) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Alex Finnell (USC) def. Filip Kraljevic (OM) 7-6(5), 6-1
6. Paul Jubb (USC) def. Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 5, 1, 2, 4

Thoughts from head coach Toby Hansson...
"We are playing well in doubles, and we put ourselves in a position to get the point. We played excellent at two doubles and we were in control of the match at No. 1. We talked to the guys after the doubles and told them we could do the same thing that other teams had done to us a couple of times, and we almost pulled it out.  It was a very competitive match, but hats off to South Carolina, they did a very good job of closing out the match."

On positives to take from match...
"I see some bright spots. Tim played a player that doesn't lose very often and he played a solid match. That was encouraging to see. Gus faced a tough opponent, and it was a very physical match. He competed well today. Fabi obviously was disappointed about the doubles and perhaps it affected him in the beginning of his singles match, but he pulled through in the end, got his focus back. Ricky was in control and playing excellent tennis, but unfortunately, he couldn't keep it going. His opponent stepped it up. A lot of positives from this match even though we ended up on the losing side." 

Up next...
The Rebels will conclude a three-match homestand March 23 with Auburn visiting for a 1 pm match.

For more information on Ole Miss Men's Tennis, follow the Rebels on Twitter @OleMissMTennis, on Facebook at OleMissMTennis and on Instagram at OleMissMTennis, follow Coach Hansson on Twitter at @TennisToby.






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