AUBURN, Ala. - In what was dubbed as an "Egg Bowl" battle, Ole Miss men's tennis sophomore Nik Scholtz took out Mississippi State freshman Romain Bogaerts 7-5, 6-4 Monday morning at the Yarbrough Tennis Center to capture the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Singles Championship and earn a trip to New York for the National Indoor in November.
Scholtz joins teammate, senior Jonas Lutjen, in the 32-player field for the USTA/ITA National Indoor, which will take place Nov. 8-11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Lutjen secured his spot by winning the consolation draw at the ITA All-American Championships earlier this month.
In the final, Scholtz, the top seed in the tournament, gained the early lead by breaking Bogaerts to start the match for a 2-0 lead. Bogaerts would break back, but at 5-5, Scholtz broke again and held to win the first set 7-5. Much like the first, Scholtz gained the early break in the second, but this time held it to win 6-4.
Bogaerts had defeated three of the top 10 seeds coming into the final, so Scholtz, who improved to 7-1 this fall, expected a tough match.
"I didn't start off the match too well, but I was able to raise my level and play better as the match progressed," Scholtz said. "I am really happy to get the win. Being the regional champion and going to national indoors was one of my main goals this semester."
"Nik played his best match of the tournament in the final," associate head coach Toby Hansson said. "He made an adjustment and played a little more attacking in the second set. He had control of the match from the beginning of the second set on. It's always fun to win a tournament and finish strong. "
The Rebels had another great showing at the USTA/ITA Southern Regional, with two players reaching the semifinals, including sophomore William Kallberg, who Scholtz beat in a tight match in the semis. Junior Johan Backstrom won the consolation draw late Sunday afternoon and was there for the final to support his teammate.
Scholtz became the second Rebel to win the USTA/ITA Southern Regional title in three years. His fellow countryman, Tucker Vorster, won it in 2010, while Lutjen reached the finals last year.
The USTA/ITA Regional Championships feature some of the top men's players from across the country from 12 different regions in Division I. The winners of singles and doubles advance to the USTA/ITA National Indoor, which is the second major of the calendar year for collegiate tennis.
The Southern Regional consisted of teams from the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi including SEC schools Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman ShowListen:... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more