CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – With winds whipping at the Atkins Tennis Center here Wednesday, conditions were tough for all competitors on the first day of the NCAA Singles Championship, but Ole Miss men’s tennis senior Jonas Lutjen handled it fine to advance to the second round with a straight set win over North Carolina sophomore Esben Hess-Olesen.
Lutjen, ranked No. 20 in the nation, won a huge first set tiebreaker after missing an opportunity to serve out the set at 6-5. Trailing 6-4 in the breaker, the ITA Southern Region Senior of the Year won three of the next four points to tie it at seven. He won the final two points to win it 7-6(7) and take the early advantage. One break is all he needed in the second set to win it 6-3 and move on to the second round for the second year in a row.
“Jonas played well,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “The wind was worse at the start of the day, but he held his own. It was huge for him to get that first set tiebreaker. The first round is always tricky to get through. Tomorrow he gets an opportunity to face a seeded player and hopefully keep it going.”
Lutjen improved to 31-10 overall on the year and will meet 9-16 seed Kyle McMorrow of Washington in the second round Thursday at 9:30 a.m. McMorrow, ranked 17th nationally, didn’t drop a game in his first round match.
Unfortunately, Lutjen’s teammate and doubles partner, sophomore Nik Scholtz, didn’t fare as well, going out in the first round after reaching the Elite Eight last year as a freshman. Scholtz, seeded 9-16, struggled early against Tulsa’s Clifford Marsland losing the first set 6-1. He got down an early break in the second, and finally got going in the middle of the set, but Marsland served it out 6-3 to knock off the nation’s 14th-ranked player. Scholtz ends the year at 20-9 in singles.
“It was a combination of Nik not playing well, and the other guy playing well,” Chadwick said. “The guy didn’t make too many mistakes and didn’t allow Nik to get into the match. By the time Nik was able to get going a little in the middle of the second set, it was hard to hold him off. It’s been a tough last couple of months for Nik with the injury and not being at the top of his game like we are used to seeing, but he’ll bounce back.”
Scholtz will cheer on Lutjen in the singles tomorrow and then the two will team up for their first round of doubles. The third-seeded duo will face Indiana's Isade Juneau and Sam Monette. The times for the first round of doubles have not been set yet. Check @OleMissTennis on Twitter for updates. All matches during the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships feature live scoring at video, which can be accessed by going to OleMissSports.com and clicking on the link in the calendar.
NCAA Singles Championship – Champaign, Ill. First Round Jonas Lutjen (OM) def. Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC) 7-6(7), 6-3; Clifford Marsland (TULSA) def. (9-16) Nik Scholtz (OM) 6-1, 6-3.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more
It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more
No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited. But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more
Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more
Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more
With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more
A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014Football- No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31.- In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked... read more