OXFORD, Miss. – A record four All-Americans highlight another great year for the Ole Miss men’s tennis team.
Senior twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann, junior Jonas Lutjen and freshman Nik Scholtz earned All-America honors, bringing the total in the history of the program to 28. The Rebels led the SEC and tied NCAA runner-up Virginia for the most All-Americans in the country. This marks the fourth time in six years the Rebels have tied for the most All-Americans in the nation.
All four helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and a final national ranking of No. 14. The Rebels have proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the nation. In addition to ending in the top 10 14 times, they have finished ranked in the top 15 a record 17 times since 1994.
“All-American is one of the highest honors for a collegiate player,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We are extremely proud of these four outstanding individuals for how they have represented the University of Mississippi on and off the court.”
Scholtz, the SEC Freshman and ITA Southern Region Rookie of the Year, led the Rebels in the final individual rankings, at No. 14 in singles and No. 10 in doubles. He finished as the second highest ranked freshman in the nation and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals in singles, marking the fourth year in a row for a Rebel to reach the Elite Eight in singles. Scholtz became the first Rebel to earn the SEC’s top rookie honor and was the only freshman in the nation to earn All-America honors in both singles and doubles. In addition he is the second Rebel freshman in four years to earn All-America honors.
Marcel ended his career ranked No. 22 in singles and No. 11 in doubles, with his brother Chris. The duo the made the finals of the 2011 ITA National Indoor, won the 2012 SEC Indoor Championship, and capped a great career reaching the NCAA Final Four in doubles.
A finalist for the Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year Postgraduate Scholarship, Marcel became the fourth player in Ole Miss men’s tennis history to earn All-America honors three times and the third player to earn All-SEC first team honors three years. This marks the third straight year for Marcel to finish ranked in the top 30 in singles and second consecutive year to be in the top 15 in doubles.
Lutjen ended the year ranked No. 44 in the nation in singles and No. 10 in doubles with Scholtz. He proved to be one of the most improved players in the SEC by reaching the singles semifinals at the SEC Indoor to start the spring and earning All-SEC honors for the first time in his career.
Looking ahead to 2013, the Rebels return five of the top seven led by All-Americans Scholtz and Lutjen. Also returning is William Kallberg, who earned a final singles ranking of No. 100; Johan Backstrom, Adrian Forberg Skogeng and Joe Rogers and redshirt Zach Wilder. With the signing of Swedish standout Stefan Lindmark, regarded as one of the top players in Europe, the Rebels have their sights on a championship next year.
“All of the team is committed to working hard this summer and are already looking forward to next season,” Chadwick said. “We will start the spring off by hosting the first and second rounds of the National Team indoor, and we have an outstanding conference home match schedule.”
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