OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss men's tennis junior Nik Scholtz earned his second consecutive big win, knocking off No. 11 ranked Yannick Hanfmann of Southern California Wednesday afternoon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. However, the Rebels succumbed to the No. 4 ranked Trojans 5-2 in the overall score.
"We know that USC is one of the top teams in the country, and they showed that today," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "Across the board we are getting better with every match. Because of this match, I feel like we are better prepared for the match coming up on Friday."
The Trojans started out strong in the doubles taking the top two spots 8-3 for the first point of the match. Ole Miss led the No. 3 match 5-4.
Southern California picked up straight set wins in singles on courts two, three and six to clinch the victory. The highlight of the day for the Rebels, was Scholtz beating one of the top players in straight sets, and senior Johan Backstrom coming back to win his match at No. 4 singles.
On Sunday, Scholtz beat the No. 10 ranked player, for his first win in awhile. Six of his matches have not finished this year, making it hard for him to get wins. But Wednesday, the coaches elected to play out the match once it was decided, and Scholtz delivered to the fans who stayed to see the completion. Up 7-5, the two played to a second set tiebreaker, which Scholtz won 7-6(5) for the victory.
"I know my opponent pretty well, he's a very good player," Scholtz said. "I knew it was going to come down to one or two hits of the ball. I was able to get those points today. I have a lot of respect for him. I am happy with the win, it's a good one for me.
"He's one of the top players in the country," Chadwick said of Hanfmann. "The unfortunate thing for Nik, is that we've played a lot of matches that were clinched at four and he hasn't been able to finish. From an NCAA standpoint, selection and seeding, these two matches are really key for him."
Despite the back-to-back top wins, Scholtz believes he can play even better.
"Today was tough, it was real windy. Everyone was making errors that they don't normally make. Especially playing in the center courts, it's really swirly. The ball is coming right at you and next thing you know it's going left or right. It's hard to adapt. Today was all about doing what it takes to win; it wasn't going to be too pretty. I am happy I was able to do it."
With the win, Scholtz, who came in ranked No. 44 in the nation, improved to 14-5 overall and 5-0 at No. 1 singles. He is likely to move up in next week's ranking after two consecutive top-11 wins.
As a team, the Rebels must regroup quickly, as they get set to host Arkansas and LSU this weekend. The Arkansas match on Friday will begin at 2 p.m., and fans will enjoy free pizza between doubles and singles.
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games. Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more
Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more