CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Third-seeded Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen advanced to the second round of the NCAA Doubles Championship Thursday night to extend the Rebels stay in Illinois at least one more day. The Ole Miss duo won in straight sets against Isade Juneau and Sam Monette of Indiana.
Scholtz and Lutjen earned three service breaks in the first set to win it 6-3. At 5-5 in the second set, the Rebel pair won the final two games to clinch the win. With the win, Scholtz and Lutjen improved to 18-6 and will face Arkansas’ No. 1 team of Manfred Jeske and Mike Nott Friday at 12:30 p.m. The two teams faced off against each other in the regular season SEC meeting with Scholtz and Lutjen winning 8-2.
“It was good to get the first one out of the way,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “The guys played well and we are looking forward to the next round tomorrow.”
Earlier in the day in singles, Lutjen dropped a tough three-setter to 9-16 seed Kyle McMorrow of Washington in the second round. The match began outside, and Lutjen gained the lead by breaking early and taking the first set 6-2. With the two all even in the middle of the second set, a rain delay came, which seem to come at a good time for McMorrow. Once play resumed indoors, McMorrow was able to break and hold serve to win the second set 6-4. At 2-1 in the final set, McMorrow broke Lutjen again and held to win it 6-3 and clinch a spot in the round of 16.
“It was a tough loss for Jonas, but he did a nice job of putting it behind him and focusing on the doubles,” Chadwick said. “He played well at the start and it was just one break in the second and third sets. The rain delay kind of stopped his momentum a little. We are proud of all he accomplished in singles. He improved so much during his career on his way to becoming one of the top players in the nation.”
Lutjen finished the season at 31-11 in singles and 85-49 for his career. The two-time All-American earned All-SEC honors twice and was recently named the ITA Southern Region Senior of the Year.
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