OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 13 seed Ole Miss men’s tennis team (15-8) punched its ticket to the NCAA Final 16 last weekend with wins over Binghamton (4-0) and Michigan (4-2) to earn its 16th Sweet Sixteen appearance.
The Rebels will face No. 4 UCLA (24-3) Friday at 11 a.m. CT at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., with the winner set to face Ohio State or Florida in the quarterfinals Sunday at 11 a.m. CT. UCLA reached the round of 16 for the 14th straight year with a pair of 4-0 wins over Eastern Kentucky and San Diego.
“They’re one of the top programs in the nation year in and year out, and this year is no exception,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “They are the only team that’s beaten No. 1 Southern Cal. They’re a typical UCLA team that’s extremely talented.
“We feel we match up well with them. Last year’s match they eliminated us at their place. The guys feel they can beat this team.”
This will be the third meeting in four years and fourth overall against UCLA in the NCAA Championships. Senior Marcel Thiemann would like nothing better than to erase the memories of two tough losses to the Bruins during his career.
“We have some unpaid dues against them,” said senior Marcel Thiemann, who was the last match on in 2009. “My freshman year we lost against them 4-3, and last year we lost against them 4-3. We’re ready to play again, and we’re ready to play them again.”
REBELS AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS The Rebels own a 46-20 overall record in NCAA competition. They have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen 16 times now, the Elite Eight nine times, the Final Four four times and the Final in 1995. See page 6 for Ole Miss’ complete NCAA results.
SCOUTING UCLA UCLA (24-3) is making its 14th consecutive NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance. The Bruins downed Eastern Kentucky 4-0 in the first round and then defeated San Diego 4-0 in the second round, in a match that was a lot closer than the final score. UCLA’s three losses came against No. 8 Duke in the National Team Indoor and twice to No. 1 ranked Southern Cal. The Bruins are led by sophomore Clay Thompson who owns a 6-4 record at No. 1 singles and is ranked No. 62. Senior Nick Meister, ranked No. 16 in the nation, is undefeated (9-0) at No. 2. The Bruins boast two other players in the singles rankings with Marcos Giron at No. 84 and Adrien Puget at No. 46.
LAST MEETING In their last meeting last year in the second round in Los Angeles, Ole Miss jumped out to a 3-1 lead before seeing the Bruins come back for a 4-3 win. The match came down to No. 5 singles, where Bruin senior Holden Seguso rallied against Ole Miss freshman Johan Backstrom to clinch the victory in a third set tiebreaker, 7-6(4). Backstrom won the first set 6-4, but Seguso came into the match with just four losses on the season. He took the second set 6-3 and gained a 5-3 lead in the third, before Backstrom won two straight games to even it up at 5-5. The Rebels struck first in the match winning the doubles point. UCLA evened the match with a win at No. 6 singles. The Rebels regained the lead (3-1) with straight set wins on courts three and four, and then UCLA got to within one, winning at No. 2 singles. Marcel Thiemann served for the match at No. 1 singles but lost three straight games to fall in three sets.
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman Show... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more
Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy talks about the addition of assistant coach Tony Madlock and the new-look roster for the upcoming season, among other topics, on the SEC Summer Men's Basketball Coaches Media Teleconference Monday. Here are the highlights:Ole... read more