OXFORD, Miss. – Nik Scholtz won his eighth match in a row, but the Ole Miss men’s tennis team dropped the doubles point against LSU and could not find three other singles wins falling to the Tigers 4-1 here Sunday at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
The Rebels (5-9, 3-5) split the weekend after a 4-2 win over Arkansas on Friday. LSU gained its first SEC win of the year and improved to 10-9 overall.
LSU took a winnable doubles point for the Rebels and then maintained momentum in singles winning at two, three and four.
“It was disappointing, because I thought we played a really good match on Friday,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We knew LSU had been playing everybody close and that they were going to beat someone at some point in time. Unfortunately, it was us today.”
LSU kept momentum, winning four first sets in singles. Kallberg gave it a go in singles, and battled valiantly, but ended up falling to Arias 6-2, 7-6(3) at No. 2 singles.
“We had a good look at them in doubles, and didn’t get the point. That was key,” Chadwick said. “Going into the singles, we knew that William was going to have an uphill battle with his ankle. He took the choice on whether to play, and he decided he wanted to go after it. He was a half step slow, but still played a good match.”
Both Backstrom and Lindmark battled hard Friday with Lindmark clinching the win, and Backstrom up and close to a win himself. Sunday, neither player was able to stay on track after early breaks in the first. LSU’s Andrew Korinek went on to beat Backstrom 6-4, 6-2 at No. 4, and then Justin Butsch finished off Lindmark 6-4, 7-5 at No. 3 to clinch the LSU victory.
“We have to work on our consistency for sure,” Chadwick said. “We need to be able to be at our best every time that we walk on the court. Today, for whatever reason, LSU was just a little sharper.”
Scholtz, ranked No. 44 in the nation, improved to 4-0 in the SEC at No. 1 singles with his eighth straight win, 6-3, 6-3 over Tiger Chris Simpson. Scholtz beat him by the same score last year in Baton Rouge, and is expected to move up in the rankings when the new ones come out Tuesday.
The Rebels will travel to Jackson, Miss., to play three matches against Jackson State Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m.
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