OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss men's tennis team earned a much needed win in front of a huge crowd Friday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center, rallying from dropping the doubles point to take a 4-2 win over Arkansas. The Rebels will host LSU Sunday at 1 p.m.
For the 10th time this year, the Rebels (5-8, 3-4) came away empty handed after the doubles, but for the second time in SEC play, they rallied to win the match. Leading 3-2, sophomore Stefan Lindmark finished off Razorback senior Hall Fess 7-5, 7-5 at No. 3 singles to clinch the Rebel victory.
"I started off really bad. I feel like I could have played much better. Down 4-1, I started to get some momentum and kept fighting. I knew he was up and down and that if I stayed with him [I could get it]. I am happy I could finish strong."
With temperatures hovering in the 70s, and the sun shining, more than 500 fans came out to support the team and many stayed for the exciting conclusion.
"I have to give credit to the crowd, they were great," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "They kept the guys pumped up."
Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers won 8-2 at No. 3 doubles, and Arkansas won 8-3 at No. 1 doubles. The point came down to No. 2, where Nik Scholtz and Ricardo Jorge were up 5-3 with Scholtz serving. Arkansas broke back and it eventually went to a tiebreak, but the Razorbacks won it 7-5 to clinch the 1-0 lead.
The Rebels battled back to take four first sets in singles. At court six, Vinod Gowda defeated Arkansas senior Christian Lee 6-3, 6-0 to put Ole Miss on the board.
Scholtz broke to win his first against Mike Nott 7-5 and then dominated the second 6-1 to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead. He improved to 6-0 at No. 1 singles and 3-0 in the SEC.
Moments later the match was tied again as junior William Kallberg retired down 0-3 in the third set to Arkansas' Manfred Jeske.
The match didn't remain tied long, as Jorge gave the Rebels the lead for good, when he finished off a comeback against Razorback freshman Johan den Toom. After dropping the first set 6-4, Jorge won the second set 6-4 and then cruised in the third 6-1, setting up Lindmark's match-clinching victory.
When Lindmark clinched, Backstrom was leading Jovan Parlic 6-3, 3-2 in the second set tiebreaker.
"We had to come back in a couple of matches, one was Stefan's first set," Chadwick noted. "Great job by Ricky up at No. 5, great for Vinod to take care of business at six and then Nik led the way at one. We also were right in there at Backy's match. When you have one point to get, and two guys going hard for it, and you're playing hard that's good."
Ole Miss will welcome a tough LSU team in search of their first SEC win of the season, after a tight 4-2 loss at Mississippi State on Friday. The Rebels are seeking revenge for a 4-3 loss to the Tigers last year in Baton Rouge.
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