How Sweet It Is

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Johan Backstrom
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Johan Backstrom
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

May 13, 2012

Results

Results | Photo Gallery

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss men's tennis sophomore Johan Backstrom came up huge Sunday, winning 6-3 in the third at No. 5 singles to clinch a 4-2 victory against Michigan to send the Rebels to the Sweet Sixteen.

It marks the 16th Sweet Sixteen appearance for the Rebels and first since 2009.  Michigan ends its season at 18-8.   The Rebels will face UCLA Friday at 11 a.m. CT in Athens, Ga.

With the Rebels leading 3-2 and two matches remaining, Backstrom delivered the goods when his teamed needed him.  He won the first set against UM's Barrett Franks, 6-3, but lost the second 6-3.  At 3-1 the Swede gained a break to go up 4-1.   All he had to do then was hold serve twice, and on match point he aced Franks.  

The Rebels came into the weekend hosting for the time since 2008 and excited to show off the newly renovated Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.  However, Mother Nature had other ideas.  In addition to Saturday's match vs. Binghamton, Sunday's match against Michigan started outside before being forced indoors to the Gillom Sports Center due to rain.

Ole Miss won a tight doubles point to take the early 1-0 lead and that proved to be the difference in the match.   The Wolverines won 8-5 at No. 3 doubles.   Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 13 nationally, trailed 26th-ranked Evan King and Shaun Bernstein 5-2 before winning six of the next seven games to take it 8-6.  On court two, the twins, Chris Thiemann and Marcel Thiemann, were locked in a tight battle with UM's Barrett Franks and Alex Buzzi.  At 7-7, the 17th-ranked Rebel duo broke and served it out to clinch the point.

Lutjen carried the momentum of doubles over into his singles match at No. 3, quickly downing Bernstein 6-2, 6-2 to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead.

Michigan would tie it up with wins on courts one and two.  Alex Petrone defeated senior Marcel Thiemann 6-4, 6-4 to make it 2-1.  In a battle between the SEC Freshman of the Year, Scholtz, and the Big Ten Player of the Year, King, the Wolverine gained one break in each set to come out on top 6-4, 6-3 and even the overall score.

Fans could sense the tension building, but with three matches left, the Rebels were able to win two first sets in those.  Kallberg defeated Michael Zhu 6-4, 7-5 to put Ole Miss within one (3-2), setting up Backstrom's match-clinching win.

"We did a really good job of digging down deep and finding a way to get the doubles point, and then Jonas Lutjen led us off in singles.  It was a gutsy performance by the freshman, Kallberg.  That match was back and forth, and he did a good job of closing it out in two sets."

The Rebels will face UCLA in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, marking the third time in four years for them to face the Bruins in the NCAA Championships.  In 2009, the Rebels lost a heartbreaker to UCLA in the quarterfinals and then again last year in the second round in Los Angeles.

Follow the Rebels on twitter at @OleMissMTennis and on facebook at www.facebook.com/OleMissMTennis.


Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Grove Bowl to be Featured on SEC Network Platofrms

      Thursday, March 26, 2015 - Football

      The SEC Network will air every SEC spring football game with multiple viewing opportunities on both television and the network's digital platforms. All 12 spring football games will be carried live and in full on SEC Network + with additional... read more

    • Freeze, Players Talk Quarterback Competition

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - Football

      Through the first seven spring practices, or three weeks since the start of spring practice on March 3, there does not appear to be any separation between sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade and junior college transfer Chad Kelly.  Whether... read more

    • VIDEO: 2015 Rebel Choice Awards

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - Athletics

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (March 17-23, 2015)

      Monday, March 23, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. -... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- March 22

      Sunday, March 22, 2015 - Athletics

      The men's basketball team saw its run in the NCAA Tournament come to an end in the Round of 64 after a thrilling win in the First Four. The women's basketball team won two postseason WNIT games to continue its... read more

    • Trent, Bramlett Pitch Rebels Past No. 1 Florida

      Sunday, March 22, 2015 - Baseball

      Junior left-hander Christian Trent and sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett picked up quality starts on the mound, and the offensive provided some timely hits, which proved to be a winning formula as Ole Miss claimed the weekend series over No. 1... read more

    • VIDEO: Insell Previews WNIT Matchup with GT

      Saturday, March 21, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      read more

    • Journey Ends for Five Seniors

      Thursday, March 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A four-year starter at point guard, one of the most accomplished players in program history, senior Jarvis Summers saw his Ole Miss career come to an end, as did four of his fellow seniors in LaDarius White,... read more

    • Kennedy, Mack Talk Familiarity, Preparations

      Thursday, March 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      From his five years at Cincinnati, three as an assistant coach and one each as associate head coach and interim head coach, head coach Andy Kennedy knows and has experienced the Xavier program first hand, having coached against the Musketeers... read more

    • Whirlwind Week Continues for the Rebels

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss has gone through a two-day turn twice, as well as a one-day turn when the Rebels played No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati in back-to-back days at the Emerald Coast Classic, but they haven't gone through a turn quite... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Basketball Defeats BYU

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Photo Gallery "YOU BELONG!" - AK @OleMissMBB pic.twitter.com/N0E09nTXHy-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 18, 2015 REBS WIN!! REBS WIN!!! HELL YEAH DAMN RIGHT!!! @OleMissMBB #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/ak0Vwpq2He-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 18, 2015... read more

    • Ole Miss a Giant Killer against Xavier?

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Giant Killers come in many different shapes and forms in the NCAA Tournament. They are not just your teams from smaller and mid-major conferences, but also your lower-seeded power-conference teams. As defined by ESPN's Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner, Giants Killers... read more

    • What They're Saying: Rebels Take Down BYU

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      March Madness reigned in Dayton, as 11th-seeded Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. The nation watched, and they reacted to... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Basketball in Dayton

      Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Photo Gallery Your NCAA Tournament Rebels! .@OleMissMBB pic.twitter.com/KkR8n8aF4Y-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 17, 2015... read more

    • Rebels Apply Lessons Learned in BYU Prep

      Monday, March 16, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Talking to members of the local media Sunday before leaving for Dayton on Monday, head coach Andy Kennedy and senior guard Jarvis Summers spoke of a familiarity with BYU, their First Four opponent, from watching the Cougars' 73-60 win at... read more