OXFORD, Miss. - Men's basketball isn't the only Ole Miss team facing arch-rival Mississippi State this week. The No. 12 nationally ranked Rebel netters will battle the 10th-ranked Bulldogs in the 16th annual River Hills Mississippi Cup in Jackson Thursday.
The two rivals will square off for the first time this year at 5 p.m. at the River Hills Tennis Club. Tickets are on sale and may be purchased by calling (601) 987-4438.
In 15 previous cups, the Rebels have won 12 of them. After MSU won the first two, Ole Miss won 10 straight in the annual event, before the Bulldogs rallied to win 4-2 last year. Both teams come in undefeated after having clinched spots in the ITA National Team Indoor two weeks ago.
Head coach Billy Chadwick says the team is looking forward to its first top ranked match-up of the season and knows it will be a tough battle.
"State has a really good team this year, so we're looking for a great match. We're expecting a tremendous crowd down at River Hills. We feel like it's going to be one of those matches that will go down to the end, and hopefully the Rebs will come out on top this time."
The Rebels, picked to win the overall SEC Championship this year, downed Columbia and NC State in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend to begin the year 2-0. They are led by All-Americans Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen, who come into Thursday's match a combined 6-0 in singles and doubles at the top two spots. Lutjen is ranked No. 5 in the nation and Scholtz No. 33. Both will be facing familiar opponents.
Scholtz will be going against 25th-ranked Romain Bogaerts, one of three freshmen for the Bulldogs. The two met twice in the fall.
"I beat him outdoors (in winning ITA Southern Regional Championship) and he beat me indoors (ITA National Indoor)," Scholtz said. "I didn't really play my best when I faced him indoors, but it was still a pretty close match. I am excited to play him again. You have to look forward to these kinds of matches and challenges."
Last year's match lasted nearly six hours before MSU finally won it. The Rebels claimed the doubles point, but State took two of the top three singles and then won a three-setter at No. 5 to clinch. Four of the six singles matches went three sets.
"We didn't like how it felt after losing last year," Chadwick said. "The guys have a lot of respect for State, and for us to come out on top, we'll need to be at our best."
To keep up with the match, follow along in the live blog and on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewAug. 25-31, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss opened the 2014 season with a 35-13 win over Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.- The Rebels led 7-6 entering the fourth quarter... read more
The SEC Storied documentary "It's Time," centered on the the inspirational friendship between former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines and former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins, will premiere on Tuesday on the Vanderbilt campus and will debut on... read more
This is a new concept we've created for the Ole Miss Sports Blog that we're calling Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations... read more
The No. 18 Ole Miss football team won the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game defeating Boise State 35-13. The Rebels move into Southeastern Conference next week with a road test at Vanderbilt from Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The... read more
ATLANTA -- Boise State had been the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 40.2 points per game dating back to the 2000 season. Highlighted by four interceptions, eight tackles for loss and big hits by several different players, the... read more
ATLANTA -- After an up-and-down first half, which included a touchdown and three interceptions, senior quarterback Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss offense found their stride in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Leading 7-6 early in the... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss opens its 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Boise State from Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Contrast in Experience Boise State has one of the youngest teams in the country with 67 freshmen... read more
Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more
For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships. For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more
ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense. And... read more
After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more
Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more