OXFORD, Miss. - Head coach Billy Chadwick built a tennis program at Ole Miss that ranks among the nation's elite and Friday, in his last SEC home match of his career, the players delivered him a thrilling 4-3 victory against No. 10 Texas A&M on a beautiful day at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The Rebels also celebrated Senior Day and their lone senior, Johan Backstrom.
"This was a great team effort, they played their hearts out from the beginning of the match until the end," said a water-drenched Chadwick. "It was a great way to end the SEC regular season."
With their backs against the wall as far as postseason play was concerned, the Rebels needed a big win, and Friday they earned it from top to bottom. With the match tied at 3, sophomore Stefan Lindmark finished off a huge three-set win against Aggie senior Junior Ore to clinch the victory, as the celebration ensued.
Lindmark, who had been there before during his freshman year in 2013, won his first set 6-4, and was up 4-2 in the second. Ore came back to force a tiebreaker, which he dominated 7-6(1). He used that momentum to break Lindmark in the first game of the third, but the Sweden native never flinched. Lindmark broke back and then broke for 5-3. He only dropped one point on his serve in clinching the Rebels' first top-10 victory of the year.
The stage was set with a huge doubles point win by the Rebels. Texas A&M would take the No. 2 match 8-3, but Lindmark and junior William Kallberg won a tiebreaker against No. 6 ranked Ore and his partner, Jackson Withrow, 8-7(3). All eyes then turned to court three, where Backstrom and Joe Rogers were locked in a tiebreaker as well, against A&M's Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo. Backstrom and Rogers faced two match points in the breaker at 6-4, but won the final four points to clinch the early 1-0 lead for the Rebels.
The Rebels carried the momentum from winning the doubles into singles, winning four first sets. One of those, freshman Ricardo Jorge handed Withrow a 6-2, 6-4 loss at No. 5 singles to make it 2-0 Rebels.
Nik Scholtz put the Rebels ahead 3-0 with an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 10 ranked Harrison Adams at No. 1 singles. Scholtz improved to 11-1 at No. 1 singles and 6-1 in the SEC. He has won 13 of his last 14 matches and now has three wins over top-15 ranked players this season.
The Aggies came into the match tied atop the league standings for a reason, and the Rebels knew they would have to fight until the end.
Szabo gave A&M their first point when he defeated Rebel freshman Vinod Gowda 6-3, 6-3 on court six. In a highly competitive match on court two, Vinsant outlasted Kallberg 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to put the Aggies within one, 3-2.
Shortly after that, Efferding finished off a three-set win against Backstrom at No. 3 singles to square the match just as Lindmark and Ore were in the middle of the third set at four.
The Rebels will host a doubleheader against Alcorn State Sunday at 10 a.m. to close out the weekend before next week's SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn.
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