OXFORD, Miss. – Music City has been quite good to the Rebels this year on the football field and on the tennis courts, and the Ole Miss men’s tennis team heads to Nashville, Tenn., for the upcoming SEC Tournament, hoping to create some more magic.
The Rebels are the No. 11 seed, and will face the No. 6 seed, Tennessee, Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Currey Tennis Center.
“We are really looking forward to the tournament,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We are coming off a big weekend. Tennessee has won four straight matches, so it should be a great match.”
The Rebels went into last weekend needing a win over No. 10 Texas A&M to keep alive their postseason chances, and the team rose to the occasion, knocking off the Aggies 4-3. With the win, the Rebels moved up in the rankings (43), but they know that another solid win against No. 18 Tennessee would get them off the proverbial NCAA bubble.
“It moved us up in the rankings, and now we are in the ballpark for an NCAA bid,” said Chadwick who has guided his teams to 20 straight NCAA Championship appearances. “It put us in position where we are now playing on Thursday in the tournament instead of Wednesday. We are excited about playing Tennessee. They have a great team; we’ve beaten them once, so we need to use that to our advantage.”
Junior All-American Nik Scholtz, ranked No. 18 in the nation, has led the team all season long, holding down the No. 1 spot with a 13-1 record. He has won 15 of his last 16 matches dating back to mid-January. Scholtz has two wins against top-10 players and one against a top-15 player. Thursday, he’ll face another tough test with Tennessee’s Hunter Reese.
“Nik keeps getting it done, he is one of the premier players in the conference, Chadwick said. Reese will definitely present a challenge. He’s ranked No. 20 in the country and he’s having a great year. Nik had a little bump in the road up at South Carolina, but other than that, he’s been perfect.”
“I feel like I’ve been playing pretty well, except for the one match against South Carolina,” Scholtz said. My confidence is helping me a lot. Nothing can replace confidence. It’s not something you can buy or practice, it comes with winning.”
Scholtz also feels like the team is becoming more confident with each match, especially after last week’s big win against Texas A&M.
“We have improved so much. It was great to see Slick (Stefan Lindmark) win that match for us and get the victory. We’ve become more of a unit as the year has progressed. That’s important.”
Tennessee enters the SEC Tournament at 17-9 overall. They won four straight SEC matches to finish 6-6 in league play.
In the first meeting, Tennessee won the doubles point, but the Rebels picked up wins at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles for the 4-1 victory.
“It’s a new match,” Scholtz said. “We aren’t thinking too much about the last one, just focusing on what we have to do to win this one.”
The winner of this match will face the No. 3 seed, Kentucky Friday at 9 a.m.
It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more
No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited. But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more
Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more
Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more
With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more
A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014Football- No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31.- In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked... read more
In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. There's a lot on our... read more
Dragging an Auburn defender on what initially looked to be a go-ahead touchdown, Laquon Treadwell fought his way toward the end zone, but had his ankle rolled over and fumbled into the end zone. In the moments that followed, the... read more