OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss men’s tennis junior Nik Scholtz has cemented himself as one of the top players ever to step on the tennis courts for the Rebels, and Wednesday, he added more honors to an outstanding season.
The SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-American earned a final national ranking of No. 14 in singles, making him the highest ranked player in the SEC. It marks the third consecutive year for Scholtz to finish the season ranked inside the top 20 in singles.
“Nik had a great year; being the SEC Player of the Year speaks for itself,” retiring head coach Billy Chadwick said. “Being the top ranked player in the SEC speaks volumes too. If you ask him, he would be a little bit disappointed, because he had his sights on winning the NCAA Championship. All in all, an exceptional year for Nik.”
Scholtz (Caledon, South Africa) became the third Rebel to finish three straight seasons in the top 20, joining fellow three-time All-Americans Catalin Gard and Erling Tveit. If he decides to return for his final season, Scholtz could become the first player to accomplish that feat all four years as well as the first ever four-time All-American in the history of the program.
As a result of his final national ranking, Scholtz was one of only three players to meet all criteria for All-America status. Players earn All-America honors by being seeded at the NCAA Championships, reaching the round of 16 or finishing ranked in the top 20.
Scholtz led the Rebels to their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance, and the team defeated Northwestern to advance to the regional final. He reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championships for the second time in his career.
In the final doubles national rankings, junior William Kallberg and sophomore Stefan Lindmark finished ranked No. 53 and boast the distinction of being the last team to defeat the NCAA Doubles Champions and No. 1 ranked team in the nation.
In addition to finishing the year as the No. 14 ranked player nationally, Scholtz earned the No. 1 ranking in the ITA Southern Region. Kallberg finished 10th in the region, and senior Johan Backstrom finished 17th. Kallberg and Lindmark earned a final regional ranking of No. 5.
With Scholtz, the Rebels return six of their top seven players from this year’s team, including Kallberg and Lindmark, and will be bolstered by one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in Gustav Hansson of Sweden, Zvonimir Babic of Croatia and Mazen Osama of Egypt.
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