Scholtz Rallies South Africa To Davis Cup Win Over Monaco

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 4, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

PRETORIA, South Africa – For Ole Miss men’s tennis junior Nik Scholtz, his third Davis Cup appearance for his native country, South Africa, was perhaps his biggest tennis moment in the spotlight. Playing at home and facing a difficult task, he rose to the occasion and delivered a huge win when his team needed it most, to help South Africa defeat Monaco 3-2 and advance in Group Two.

Rain delayed the start of play on the opening day last Friday. By the time Scholtz took to the courts late afternoon at the Irene Country Club against world No. 276 Benjamin Balleret, his team trailed 0-1. Scholtz won the first set 7-5, but fell behind 1-3 in the second before play was suspended for the night. When play resumed on Saturday, the Caledon native fought back to force a tiebreaker, which he won 7-6(3) to take a two sets to love lead. Balleret, with over 10 years of experience in Davis Cup, won the next two sets 6-3 to even up the match. With the pressure squarely on Scholtz to avoid his team going down 0-2, he broke and won the deciding set 6-3 to even the tie at 1-1.

The win over Balleret marked the first big Davis Cup victory for the two-time collegiate All-American.

“It’s huge,” Scholtz said of his win over Balleret. “I have never played Davis Cup for my country in South Africa. It was pretty emotional after the win. It meant a lot having my parents there and my family and people who have been with me through all these years to where I am now. It’s been a long journey, and while this is not the end of the road, it’s definitely a small payoff for all the work that I have put in my whole life.”

South Africa won the doubles to take a 2-1 lead heading into the final day of play on Sunday, and then clinched the victory on Sunday winning the first singles match in straight sets.

With the win over Monaco, South Africa advances in Group Two to face Lithuania April 4-6 in South Africa.

As Scholtz turns his attention back to the collegiate season, he looks to build on his 2-0 start in dual singles this spring and improve his national ranking of No. 15 in singles.

“This was a big win for Nik,” Rebel head coach Billy Chadwick said. “Nik gave South Africa a victory when they needed it most, and that is the mark of a true champion. All of the Ole Miss family is proud of him.”

Scholtz and the Ole Miss men’s tennis team return to action Friday with a doubleheader against Southern Miss beginning at 10 a.m. at the Gillom Sports Center.

Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • NASCAR's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Visits Ole Miss

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - Football

      NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., visited Ole Miss on Wednesday. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native spoke to various student groups, including the football team. Stenhouse Jr. presented head coach Hugh Freeze with a firesuit, and Freeze presented him with an... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 8-14)

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more

    • Historic Start to the Football Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Football

      After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday.  Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 14

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Three Rebels Net First Goals of the Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Soccer

      Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more

    • Golson's Buy-In Pays Off

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman.  That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-ULL Motivational

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs ULL Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-ULL

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more

    • Thompson Lifts Rebels to Historic Start

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more

    • VIDEO: Return of The Grove

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Rebel Nation Remembers Stan Sandroni

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Football

      Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Schedule, Areas for Team to Improve

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' home opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network.Freeze's time... read more

    • Former football player releases Chucky Mullins book

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Former Ole Miss football player Jody Hill has partnered with Square Books in Oxford to launch his book, "38: The Chucky Mullins Effect," celebrating the life and impact of his Ole Miss teammate Chucky Mullins. Hill will be signing copies... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. ULL

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze, Luke Talk Offensive Line Progress

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - Football

      From week one to week two, head coach Hugh Freeze and offensive line coach Matt Luke are generally pleased with the progress along the offensive line. The number of false start penalties went from eight to two, while the... read more