OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men’s tennis team was picked by the coaches to win the Southeastern Conference. The Rebels’ quest for a sixth SEC Championship begins this weekend on the road at Alabama and Auburn.
The No. 13 nationally ranked Rebels open up league play at No. 31 Alabama Friday at 3 p.m. at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
Having already played three SEC teams this season in non-conference matches, the Rebels know that they have to bring their best every match in a league with seven teams in the top 25, including four in the top 10.
“The SEC is as strong as it’s ever been,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “The guys know that it will take a great effort from top to bottom to be successful, and we are looking forward to the challenge of getting it started.”
The Rebels (6-2) are coming off a 4-2 win over rival Memphis in the team’s first outdoor match of the season. Senior Jonas Lutjen, ranked No. 5 nationally, rallied to win his match at No. 2 singles to clinch the victory and says the team is ready for SEC play.
“It was good to get the win against Memphis in our first outdoor match, and now our focus is on Alabama and Auburn,” he said. “Every team in the SEC is very good, but if we play well and do our thing, we are definitely capable of winning four points.”
After Wednesday’s match, the Rebels are a combined 13-4 at the top three spots, and freshman Stefan Lindmark is 5-1 in dual matches.
Alabama comes into the match at 9-3 overall after picking up wins over Furman and Southern Miss last weekend. The Crimson Tide boasts two players ranked nationally in singles with freshman Becker O’Shaughnessey at No. 85 and senior Jarryd Botha at No. 100.
On Sunday, the Rebels will face No. 32 Auburn at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Tigers (8-2) wrapped up non-conference play last weekend, splitting a pair of matches against ACC foes Clemson and Georgia Tech. The No. 1 doubles match should be a dandy, as Auburn boasts the nation’s top-ranked duo of Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane. They are 9-1 and will face the Rebel tandem of Lutjen and Nik Scholtz, who are ranked No. 5 and 7-1 at the top spot.
Both matches will feature live scoring, which can be accessed by clicking on the link in the calendar at OleMissSports.com.
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