AUBURN, Ala. – The Ole Miss men’s tennis team is guaranteed to have a finalist in the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships as both Nik Scholtz and William Kallberg won Saturday to set up a semifinal meeting Sunday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
Both Scholtz and Kallberg topped Mississippi State players to advance to the semifinals, securing a third straight year that the Rebels will have a finalist in singles.
Scholtz, the top seed, had to battle back after dropping the first set to State’s Jordan Angus in a tiebreaker. The 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year served for the first set at 5-4, and got broken. Angus went on to win the tiebreaker 7-6(5). Scholtz came out better in the second, taking it 6-2 to set up the decisive set. Struggling on his serve all day, Scholtz was broken again at 5-4 in the third, but at 6-5, he held serve to clinch the victory.
His teammate, Kallberg, continued his solid play at the regional, with a straight set win against State’s James Chaudry. Kallberg, the sixth seed, topped fourth-seeded Chaudry 6-3, 6-4 for his fourth victory in a row without dropping a set.
Junior Johan Backstrom advanced to the semifinals of the consolation draw with two straight set wins. In the third round, he downed Cedric Rutsaert of Tulane 6-2, 6-4 and then in the quarterfinals, Backstrom defeated Auburn’s Tom Puetz 7-6(3), 6-1.
While the Rebels are still on track to win their second singles title in three years, they will not three-peat in doubles, as the top seed, Scholtz and senior Jonas Lutjen were eliminated in the third round 9-7 by the Alabama duo of Becker O’Shaugnessy and Jarryd Botha. Scholtz and Lutjen did not get off to a great start in the match, trailing 4-0 early. But they battled back to take a 7-6 lead before the Crimson Tide tandem won the final three games.
“We are excited to have a finalist for the third year in a row,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “Nik didn’t play his best, but he hung in there to come away with the win. William is playing great tennis right now. Chaudry is a very good player. Unfortunately, our streak in the doubles comes to an end. Jonas was having trouble holding serve, and we got down early in the match. They came back, but couldn’t hold on.”
Scholtz and Kallberg will face each other at 10 a.m. Sunday in one of two semifinal matches. The other semifinal features O’Shaugnessy against State’s Romain Bogaerts.
Ahead of a rivalry renewed on a national stage, complete with a visit of ESPN's "College GameDay" and the mystique of a Saturday night game in Death Valley, here's link roundup of videos and stories from local and national media... read more
Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more
The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more
Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more
At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more
With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more