FLUSHING, N.Y. - The Ole Miss men's tennis team was one of only two schools to have more than one player in the second round of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, but both Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen ended play Friday with three-set losses at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and a very close loss in doubles.
"We knew going in that every match was going to be close. Yesterday we had the margins on our side and today the ball did not bounce in our favor," associate head coach Toby Hansson said. "We were competing hard and came up with a couple of good wins. I also see areas where we can improve for the spring season."
The day began with the preseason ranked No. 2 duo taking on Georgia's Ben Wagland and Hernus Pieters in the quarterfinals of doubles. Scholtz and Lutjen had three break points at 7-7, but couldn't convert. In the tiebreaker, Georgia had three match points at 6-3, but Scholtz and Lutjen tied it up at 6. However, the Bulldog duo won the final two points and the match 9-8(6).
Scholtz, the No. 7 seed in the draw, was first up on the courts for the Rebels in singles in a rematch against Mississippi State's Romain Bogaerts. In their previous meeting at the ITA Southern Regional, Scholtz got the upper hand early, but this time, Bogaerts dominated at the start of the match. Scholtz (8-2) rebounded to claim the second set, but at 3-3 in the final set, he lost the last three games as Bogaerts finished off a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win to move on to the quarterfinals.
Lutjen, who shocked the No. 2 seed in the opening round, faced Tennessee's No. 1 player Mikelis Libietis,who is ranked No. 15 in the nation. Two breaks in the third set handed Libietis a 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2 win.
Lutjen, who began the year ranked No. 21 in the preseason ITA National Rankings, ended the fall a team-leading 14-3 with eight ranked wins.
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