Top 25 Teams To Battle In River Hills Mississippi Cup

Marcel Thiemann

Feb. 7, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men’s basketball team isn’t the only team facing Mississippi State Thursday night.  The No. 21 nationally ranked Rebel netters will battle the 14th ranked Bulldogs in the annual River Hills Mississippi Cup in Jackson.

The two arch-rivals will meet again at 5 p.m. at the River Hills Tennis Club.  Tickets are on sale and may be purchased by calling (601) 987-4438.

The Rebels (2-1) have won 12 straight Mississippi Cups, but the Bulldogs finally ended the overall win streak (26) in the regular season SEC meeting in Starkville last year.  Head coach Billy Chadwick knows it will be a challenge for his team.

“Any time we play Mississippi State it’s important, but this is extremely important,” said Chadwick, a Jackson native.  You have two top 20 teams going against each other.  For ranking and NCAA purposes and for hosting, this is a big match.”

Coming off a tough loss to then No. 24 Tennessee at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, the Rebels are looking to rebound, and a win against a top 15 team would go a long way says senior All-American Marcel Thiemann.

“Since the loss to Tennessee, everybody has been working hard to get ready for this match, and we’re looking forward to trying to keep the streak alive.  This is the most important match of the season. If we win it, then we have a good base to build on for the outdoor portion of the schedule.

“It was tough after the [Tennessee] loss; everybody was disappointed, because we should have won the match. That’s the good thing in tennis, you have so many matches, where you can improve and get better the next time.”

Mississippi State comes into the match at 5-2 with their only losses coming at No. 11 Texas A&M and at No. 3 Ohio State.  The Bulldogs return everybody from last year’s top 20 team, so fans can expect a great match on Thursday Chadwick says.

“There is a lot of excitement surrounding the match every year. We always enjoy playing in Jackson.  Any time we play them it’s going to go down to the wire, and that’s what we’re expecting this year.  Hopefully we’re going to come out on top,” he said.

For live updates during the match, follow men’s tennis on twitter at @OleMissMTennis.

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