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.
Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more
Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more
Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more
With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review April 7-13, 2015 Baseball - Ole Miss finished the week with a 2-2 mark to remain a .500 overall record for the season (18-18) as well as 7-8 in SEC play. After dropping a... read more
The baseball team claimed claimed their second series of the second over the nation's top-ranked team in dramatic fashion. The football team wrapped up spring practice. And the men's and women's tennis teams closed out their respective regular seasons and... read more
At one point, co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner said, all three quarterbacks had completed around 66 percent of their passes, a testament to how close the competition has been this spring. Going into the Grove Bowl, Freeze said one had a... read more
Former Ole Miss head coach Billy Brewer almost did not sign Chucky Mullins, whose memory has been honored with the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. Nate Wayne, a four-year letterman for the Rebels and the 1997 recipient of the award, who... read more
#RebelNation here are the Red and Blue rosters for tomorrow's Regions Bank Grove Bowl. See you there! pic.twitter.com/FZptUEkW4P-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) April 10, 2015 Three areas to watch as Ole Miss splits into two teams for the annual Regions... read more
Junior cornerback Tee Shepard's story has been well-documented. Shepard is hearing impaired, but since he has arrived at Ole Miss, he has been the beneficiary of new hearing technology that has allowed him to hear sounds, such as a coach's... read more