SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In a highly competitive NCAA first round match, the Ole Miss men’s tennis team rallied from losing the doubles point to defeat Northwestern 4-1 here Saturday at the Courtney Tennis Center to advance to the second round.
With the win, the Rebels (16-13) will face No. 14 ranked Notre Dame, who defeated Green Bay 4-0, Sunday at 12 p.m. CT for a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. Northwestern ends its season at 21-11.
“Northwestern did a fantastic job of coming out and playing well in doubles and continuing that in singles,” head coach Billy Chadwick. “It was an uphill battle the whole day, and anything short of a great effort on any court, we lose this match. I am very proud of the guys.”
After Northwestern took a close doubles point, the Rebels found themselves down in three of the singles matches. Ole Miss was able to get three first sets, including sophomore Stefan Lindmark, who defeated NU’s Konrad Zieba 6-2, 7-5 at No. 3 to tie the match.
The match swung in the Rebels favor with the clutch play of two guys playing in their first ever NCAA Championships. Freshman Ricardo Jorge gutted out a first set tiebreaker against Wildcat Strong Kircheimer 7-6(4) and then won the second set 6-2 to give Ole Miss a 2-1 lead.
The remaining four matches went three sets. Redshirt freshman Vinod Gowda, also playing his first NCAA match, rallied to defeat Alex Pasareanu 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 on court six to give the Rebels a 3-1 advantage.
When the match is tight and the season is on the line, who better to have on court, then a senior who has been there before in a tight situation. With juniors Nik Scholtz and William Kallberg locked in third sets themselves, senior Johan Backstrom finished off a comeback of his own, against Mihir Kumar, to clinch the victory. After dropping the first set 6-3, Backstrom won the final two sets 6-2, 6-4, respectively, to keep the season alive.
“All the guys did a fantastic job of not quitting and continuing to fight," Chadwick said. "It shows what these guys have learned this spring. We play these types of matches in the SEC day in and day out. You get tougher. The guys just wouldn’t take no for answer today.”
When play was stopped, Scholtz had taken a 4-2 lead in the final set of his match, and Kallberg had gone ahead 6-5 in his third set.
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