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.
Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more
Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more
With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more
While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more
In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more
Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more
Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more
Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more
AUDIO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network VIDEO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from CBS Sports VIDEO: Ole Miss bounces back, wins Egg Bowl from ESPN VIDEO: Bo Wallace fights through injury for win from ESPN... read more