OXFORD, Miss. – With five of the top seven back from last year’s NCAA Sweet Sixteen team and the addition of some top newcomers, the Ole Miss men’s tennis team is excited for the start of the 2013 season, which begins this weekend at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Desert Springs, Calif.
The 34th annual tournament features some of the top college teams and individual players in the country as determined by the 2012 Final and 2013 preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings in singles and doubles.
On the men’s side, six of the top 15 teams are sending players including, No. 2 Southern Cal, No. 3 UCLA, No. 6 Georgia, No. 7 Pepperdine, No. 9 Kentucky and the No. 13 Rebels.
“We are excited to get the season started,” said head coach Billy Chadwick, who embarks on his 30th campaign with the Rebel men. “We return a great nucleus, and with the addition of our outstanding newcomers, we are looking forward to a championship season.”
Rebel senior Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 5 in the country, is the top-ranked player in the field. The Schessel, Germany native earned All-America honors last year and helped the Rebels reach the NCAA Sweet 16. Lutjen scored an impressive win over the current No. 1 ranked player, Peter Kobelt of Ohio State, at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in November in Flushing, NY.
“Jonas had an outstanding fall,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “He has positioned himself for a great senior year, and we expect big things from him this season.”
REBEL RAMBLINGS •The Rebels opened the spring at No. 13 in the first ITA team rankings. This marks the 26th consecutive year for the team to begin the season in the top 25.
•As noted above, five players return from the 2012 season, including All-American senior Jonas Lutjen and 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year Nik Scholtz. Lutjen’s No. 5 ranking is a career-high. In addition to being named the SECs top freshman in 2012, Scholtz earned All-America honors and was the second highest ranked freshman in the nation after reaching the NCAA Elite Eight in singles. William Kallberg is ranked No. 95 in singles. Ole Miss boasts two teams in the doubles rankings with Kallberg and senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng at No. 25. Lutjen and Scholtz begin the spring ranked at No. 43.
•The Rebels start dual-match play Jan. 25 when they host the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Gillom Sports Center. Ole Miss plays Columbia Friday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. and then faces Louisville/N.C. State Saturday, Jan. 26 at TBA. This marks the third time for the Rebels to host the first and second rounds of the ITA National Indoor. The winner of this event will advance to the National Team Indoor Final 16 Feb. 15-18 in Seattle, Wash.
• There will be a new scoring system in doubles this season that will be in place until the ITA National Indoor Championships Feb. 15-18. Doubles matches in progress when the point is clinched will be abandoned, as long as both coaches agree to that prior to the start of the match. There will also be “no ad scoring,” meaning that when the game hits 40-40, the next point will win the game. Finally, a tiebreaker will take place if both teams are tied at 7-7.
• The Rebels’ schedule includes 14 teams ranked inside the preseason top 40. The home slate includes six SEC matches as well as a tough non-conference match against perennial power Baylor. The Rebels will also host the SEC Tournament April 17-21 at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss travels to No. 23 LSU for an SEC West Showdown on Saturday. Stopping The Run Not just this year, but throughout head coach Les Miles' tenure, LSU's running game has been... read more
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