OXFORD, Miss. - A huge opportunity awaits the No. 26 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team this weekend as they travel to Waco, Texas for a pair of matches against SMU and No. 7 Baylor.
The Rebels will take on SMU Saturday at Noon at the Hurd Tennis Center. On Sunday, the Rebels will face their biggest test of the season so far, when they play No. 7 Baylor on their home courts.
"We're excited about the weekend, we have two big matches," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "SMU has a rich history in tennis, and Baylor is one of the teams picked to win the NCAAs this year. We are looking forward to our first outdoor matches and gaining some momentum for the start of Southeastern Conference play next weekend."
Saturday will mark the Rebel's first match since Feb. 7, when they defeated Southern Miss 7-0.
Nik Scholtz returns for the Rebels after helping lead South Africa to a win in Davis Cup the first weekend in February. Prior to Davis Cup, Scholtz started the season with two wins in singles at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
SMU enters Saturday's match at 5-4 overall. They are coming off a 4-2 loss to Wisconsin. The Mustangs are led by junior Arturs Kazijevs with a 12-7 overall record.
The Rebels have a connection to SMU, as associate head coach Toby Hansson led the Mustangs to two WAC championships, three consecutive NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and two top-15 national finishes during his career from 1997-2000. He was named the WAC Player of the Year in 2000.
Sunday will mark a rematch of last year's exciting match in Oxford, where the Rebels came away with a 4-2 win to lead the overall series 2-1. Baylor (7-2) currently boasts three of the country's top players, including sophomore Julian Lenz who is ranked No. 6 in the nation.
The Rebel's are looking to pick up momentum as they head into Southeastern Conference play at home next weekend.
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