Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz (Photo by Bill Kallenberg)
May 26, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The final chapter in the 2013 season for the Ole Miss men’s tennis team will unfortunately not include an NCAA Championship, as Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen came up short in their bid to advance to the doubles final with a tough three-set loss Sunday to the Texas team at the Atkins Tennis Center.
Scholtz and Lutjen had the match on their racket serving up a break in the third set, but their opponent, the Texas duo of Chris Camillone and David Holiner, turned the tide and won four straight games to clinch a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 victory. In a span of three consecutive days, the Longhorn pair defeated three top-10 teams.
It was a tough day serving for both Rebels, as Lutjen was broken five times, and Scholtz twice. In fact, Scholtz was serving to give them a 4-2 lead in the third, when he was broken. At 3-4, Lutjen was broken for the final time and the Texas duo held easily for the win.
Scholtz and Lutjen missed a great opportunity to go up an early break to start the match, and Camillone and Holiner were able to take advantage of two service breaks in the first set for 6-2. It looked as if the Texas duo would cruise to a straight set win going up a 3-0 in the second set, but Scholtz and Lutjen proved why have been one of the nation’s top teams all year, battling back to take a 6-5 lead right before an hour rain delay stopped play. Once play resumed, Scholtz served out the second set 7-5.
“It was a tough day,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We didn’t serve that well, but Nik and Jonas still had a chance to win the match. It’s disappointing to lose obviously, but they had an outstanding run. Jonas had a great four years, and we will definitely miss him in the lineup.”
The Rebel tandem ends the season at 20-7 overall and finishes a two-year run at 38-13 including All-America honors in doubles two years in a row.
It marked the second year in a row and the seventh time overall for Ole Miss to have a doubles team in the NCAA Final Four. The Rebels concluded the year with their 10th SEC West title and their 20th consecutive NCAA appearance.
While the Rebels will have to replace Lutjen’s wins in singles and doubles, Ole Miss will return four of the top six in 2014, including Scholtz and fellow All-SEC honoree William Kallberg.
The final national team rankings will be released Tuesday, May 28 followed by the individual rankings on June 5.
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