ATHENS, Ga. – Ole Miss senior twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann reached the NCAA Final Four Saturday, coming back and winning a third-set tiebreaker against VCU’s Antoine Baroz and Alexis Heugas. Freshman Nik Scholtz ended his run in the NCAA Singles, losing in straight sets to the 2010 NCAA Champion, Bradley Klahn (Stanford).
For the second time this week, the twins had to rally to win their match and for the third straight day it came down to a third set. The VCU team won the first set 6-2, but the Thiemann’s rallied to win the second 6-3. The Thiemann’s led 4-3 in the third after breaking Baroz and Huegas, but the VCU duo broke right back. At 5-6, the twins held to force a tiebreak, which they won 7-4 to clinch the victory and improve to 19-6.
“It was really tough, we started off really slow. The other guys got an early break and fortunately we came back in the second set with a break of our own. We picked up our game late luckily,” Chris said.
This is the Thiemann’s third NCAA Doubles appearance, but in each of the two previous trips, they’ve lost in the first round.
“Chemistry, we know each other and we know what each other can do,” said Marcel on what fueled the late charge in the match. “This is our third time at the NCAA’s, and our goal was actually just to win the first round because we didn’t do that the other two times. We’re just enjoying everything, being seniors now.”
“It’s unbelievable. You always imagine this early in the season, making it to the NCAA’s and now it’s just unbelievable that we get to play the semis tomorrow,” Chris added. “Like Marcel said, we’re just going to try and enjoy ourselves.”
The Thiemann’s will face the Texas Tech duo, 18th-ranked Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar, who defeated the No. 2 ranked team of Steven Johnson and Robert Quiroz of Southern Cal in the quarterfinals. That match will be played at 4:30 p.m. CT.
Unfortunately, their teammate, Scholtz, won’t be joining them in the semifinals. In his first three matches, Scholtz, seeded 9-16, went the distance winning in third sets, including erasing several match points in his second round to win.
This time, Klahn, ranked No. 36 in the nation, gained the early momentum, winning the first set 6-1 and then gaining a break to take the second set 6-3 for the win.
Scholtz marked the fourth year in a row for the Rebels to have a quarterfinalist in the NCAA Singles Championship. He concluded an outstanding rookie campaign at 21-9. The South African’s list of accomplishments includes SEC Freshman of the Year, ITA Southern Region Rookie of the Year and becoming the second freshman in the history of the program to earn All-America honors.
“We’re extremely proud of the twins. They played really well in the clutch. It’s great to see them playing well and having fun out there. Even though Nik didn’t win, he had a great first year, and we’re looking forward to next year with him leading us.”
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