Scholtz Seeks NCAA Title

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Nik Scholtz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

May 20, 2014

TWITTER: @OleMissMTennis | @NCAATennis2014

FACEBOOK: OleMissMTennis

Noting Scholtz | Singles Bracket | Live Scoring/Video

OXFORD, Miss. – Last month, Nik Scholtz became the first Ole Miss men’s tennis player to be named SEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year during his career, and he hopes this time next week to add to that list of accomplishments with an NCAA title.

The NCAA Singles Championship gets underway Wednesday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia, site of the 2012 NCAA Championships, where Scholtz reached the Elite Eight as a freshman.  Scholtz will face VCU senior Alexis Heugas in the first round at 1 p.m. CT.  This will be the first ever meeting between the two.

“I am really looking forward to the NCAAs, especially because it’s in Athens,” said Scholtz, who is seeded 9-16 for the third straight year.  “I honestly believe I can go far if I play well.   If someone beats me this year, it’s either because I had a really bad day or they played really well.  I am pretty confident right now.  I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

This will be the final time for head coach Billy Chadwick to coach Scholtz, as he is retiring at the end of the season.  It would be a great going away present if Scholtz could make a run at the title.

“Nik is at the top of his game, he’s worked really hard since the team season ended,” Chadwick said.  “We are looking forward to a good tournament.”  

Scholtz led the Rebels to their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance where the team advanced to the second round before falling to Notre Dame in a very close 4-2 match.  Since then, he has been preparing for the individual tournament with the help of some of his teammates.

“We were obviously disappointed that the season ended in South Bend,” Scholtz said. “Some of the guys and members of our support staff are done forever, Johan (Backstrom – senior) and Ben (Angle – athletic trainer). Those guys will be missed.  

“I’ve had a lot of guys helping me prepare for this week.  William (Kallberg), Slick (Stefan Lindmark) and Jonas (Lutjen) were still in Oxford.  Also, Johan has been helping me some and obviously Toby (Hansson – associate head coach).   I’ve had really good preparation. The weather has been good.  I am ready to go.”

As a sophomore in 2013, Scholtz ended the year ranked No. 17 in the nation in singles and No. 4 in doubles, one of only six players in the nation to finish ranked top 20 in singles and top 10 in doubles. Seeded 9-16 in NCAA singles, Scholtz was upset in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship, a setback he learned from.  He has only lost one match since mid-January, including a 15-1 mark at No. 1 singles.  He finished 8-1 in the SEC on his way to becoming the fourth Rebel to earn SEC Player of the Year honors.

“Nik learned a lot from both previous NCAA experiences,” Chadwick said. “When he made the quarterfinals, he won several close matches and really fought hard.  When he lost first round up at Illinois he didn’t compete as hard as he needed to win that match.  Looking back on it and seeing what he has been able to do this spring, that’s a big area of improvement that he has shown.  Every single match that he’s played, he’s given his best effort.”

“I’ve been able to weather the storm and hang in there and keep fighting,” said Scholtz on the difference this season. “If you just hang in there and then you get that one little break you win.  That’s something I’ve learned to do this season, keep fighting.  It’s the guy who can hang in there and weather the storm a little longer when things aren’t going well, until you get that break.”   

Joining Scholtz in Athens is someone quite familiar with winning an NCAA Championship. Devin Britton, who has served as the Rebels’ student assistant this year while back in school finishing his degree, became the youngest NCAA Champion ever in 2009 as a freshman.

 “It’s great to have him with us, because I have someone to room with and talk to besides coach, and also someone to practice with,” Scholtz said. “He’s been there before and he’s been around here the last couple of years. He knows me.”

For updates throughout the NCAA Singles Championship, follow @NCAATennis2014 and @OleMissMTennis on Twitter.  There will also be live scoring and video for all matches.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Alabama

      Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 22-28)

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 22-28, 2014Football- No. 10 Ole Miss used a dominant defensive effort to put away Memphis 24-3 on Saturday, setting up one of the biggest games in recent history this coming Saturday against the Alabama... read more

    • PHOTOS: Week-Long Timeline of Powder Blues

      Monday, September 29, 2014 - Football

      1. Tuesday 9/23 at 4PM @CoachHughFreeze reveals the helmets to the @olemissfb team at team meeting. pic.twitter.com/8jpVCvny4p— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September 29, 2014 2. Wed 9/24 at 4PM @OleMissFB practice hidden indoors so that team practice in helmets for safety reasons. pic.twitter.com/vA0Oo6Ps7S— OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) September... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. I'll handle the bulk of the notes this week, but we also have some insight from Austin Miller here as well. Let's... read more

    • Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 10 A&M

      Sunday, September 28, 2014 - Soccer

      Seeking its first win over a top-10 team since 2009, Ole Miss took a 1-0 lead but fell short to No. 10 Texas A&M, 2-1, Sunday afternoon. "I'm really happy with the team's performance," head coach Matt Mott said. "I'm... read more

    • Defense Honors Mullins with Dominant Effort

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Wearing the lighter blue helmets for the first time since 1994 to honor the late Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss defense also honored his memory with perhaps the most dominant defensive performance of the Hugh Freeze Era. "Chucky would have... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Memphis Motivational

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Memphis: Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Memphis

      Saturday, September 27, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 10 Ole Miss faces Memphis Saturday. Battle of the Quarterbacks Ole Miss and Memphis have both gotten steady quarterback play, as both teams rank inside the top-15 nationally in scoring offense.  Senior quarterback Bo... read more

    • Rebels Rebound with Hard-Fought Draw

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Soccer

      Playing in their fourth overtime game of the season, the Ole Miss soccer team played Arkansas to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday night.  The teams combined for 30 shots, including 13 on goal, but the game was characterized more... read more

    • 3 Things About Gameday - Ole Miss vs. Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Freeze Stresses Focus, Attention Ahead of Memphis

      Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday (6:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net). Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:21:20 mark. For... read more

    • Memphis Not Fazed by Big Stage

      Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - Football

      Memphis is 2-1 heading into Saturday's matchup with wins over Austin Peay (63-0) and Middle Tennessee (36-17) and a 42-35 loss at No. 11 UCLA. The Tigers scored two early fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the Bruins at 35-35 with 13:44... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 15-21)

      Monday, September 22, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season.- Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17).- Sophomore... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 21

      Sunday, September 21, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Rebels Finish Non-Conference on High Note

      Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Volleyball

      The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more