OXFORD, Miss. - With the core of last year's Sweet Sixteen team returning, and the addition of one of the top incoming players in college tennis, the Ole Miss men's tennis team is ready to get going with an exciting schedule for 2012-13.
Highlights include hosting the SEC Championship, 10 home matches, including six league contests, as well as the first and second rounds of the ITA National Team Indoor. Admission to all home matches is free.
"The team and our fans are already getting excited about this year's schedule," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "We have an outstanding group returning from last year, and they have their sights on a championship."
The Rebels return five of the top seven players from last year's team, which earned the program's 16th NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance, and boasted a record four All-Americans in addition to the SEC Freshman of the Year.
Leading the way for the Rebels this year is senior Jonas Lutjen who has had an outstanding summer after an All-American junior year on the courts. Lutjen ended the year ranked No. 44 in the nation in singles and No. 10 in doubles, earning All-America and All-SEC honors.
The SEC's top rookie in 2012, Nik Scholtz, returns for his sophomore year after earning numerous accolades in his first season. The 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 with Lutjen. Scholtz finished as the second highest ranked freshman in the nation and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals 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.
The Rebels will kick off the year with seven tournaments this fall, beginning Sept. 7 at the Southern Intercollegiates in Athens, Ga. Other fall tournaments include the ITA All-American Championships and the ITA Southern Regional Championships.
Kicking off the spring season, the Rebels will head to Tuscaloosa for the SEC Indoor Championships (Jan. 18-21), looking to continue their strong showing at this tournament throughout the years.
For the third time in five years, the Rebels will host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, which serves as the first and second rounds of the National Team Indoor, Jan. 25-26 at the Gillom Sports Center. Joining the Rebels in Oxford will be Louisville, North Carolina State and Columbia. The winner of both matches will advance to the National Team Indoor Final 16 in Seattle, Wash. Feb. 15-18.
The annual River Hills Mississippi Cup against arch-rival Mississippi State takes place Feb. 7 in Jackson.
The outdoor season kicks off Feb. 26 with 2012 NCAA participant Memphis coming to town. The Rebels have their sights on an SEC Championship, and that quest begins the first weekend in March with road matches at Alabama (March 1) and Auburn (March 3).
After the opening weekend of conference play, the Rebels will play seven of their final 11 regular season matches at home. Highlighting a five-match homestand is Georgia (March 8), Tennessee (March 10) and 2012 SEC Champion Kentucky (March 15). During this homestand a mid-week match against perennial power Baylor is scheduled for March 14. The Rebels round out the homestand with Vanderbilt (March 17).
Next, the Rebels hit the road for LSU, Arkansas (March 22/24) and Mississippi State (March 29). The final regular season home slate includes Florida (April 5) and South Carolina (April 7).
The Rebels will conclude the regular season April 14 in College Station, Texas against the newest member of the league, Texas A&M.
Ole Miss will welcome the nation's top conference to Oxford as the Rebels host the SEC Championship April 18-21. More details will become available as the tournament draws closer.
The NCAA first and second rounds take place May 10-11 at sites to be determined, and the NCAA Final 16 will be played in Champaign, Ill. May 16-21.
WHAT HAPPENED VS. ALABAMA: For the third time in the SEC Tournament, Ole Miss scored first with three runs in the second, then battled back to tie the 5-5 in the seventh, but fell to Alabama 7-5 in 10 innings.... read more
Summer is approaching which means the magazine stands are starting to fill up with preseason football publications. I swung by the convenient store Wednesday, and it looks like Sporting News and Athlon won the war of getting their season previews... read more
Track & Field News published today a comprehensive listing of the best marks in the world and U.S. this year, combining indoors and outdoors (full lists here). Several current and former Ole Miss athletes found themselves on the lists, as... read more
Behind Bobby Wahl and Mike Mayers, sophomore right-hander Sam Smith has quietly put together a stellar season in his own right. The regular third starter in the weekend rotation, the Lake Charles, La., native is 3-0 with a 3.11 ERA... read more
No. 6 Ole Miss (37-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 3 Arkansas (35-19, 18-11 SEC)May 22 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Comcast Sports Southeast/ESPN3UM So. RHP Sam Smith (3-0, 3.28 ERA) vs. UA Jr. RHP Barrett Astin (4-4, 2.02... read more
WHAT HAPPENED VS. KENTUCKY: On four days' rest, junior right-hander Mike Mayers pitched a gem, giving up one run (unearned) on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work, as No. 6 seed Ole Miss... read more
Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. UK SR LHP Jerad Grundy (6-5, 4.75 ERA)1. LF Tanner Mathis (0-for-7, 3 BB)2, SS Austin Anderson (2-for-6)3. C Stuart Turner (2-for-3, HR, 2 BB)4. 3B Andrew Mistone (5-for-9, 3 2B, 3B)5. CF Auston... read more
No. 6 Ole Miss (36-20, 15-15 SEC) vs. No. 11 Kentucky (30-24, 11-19 SEC) May 21 | 9:30 a.m. | Hoover, Ala. | Fox Sports Net/ESPN3 UM Jr. RHP Mike Mayers (4-5, 3.21 ERA) vs. UK Sr. LHP Jerad Grundy... read more
My name is Austin Miller, and I am the new writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. I graduated with a bachelor's in journalism from Ole Miss less than two weeks ago, and I will be attending graduate school there in the... read more
It was exciting news this week as Rebel favorite Tom Luke returned to the Ole Miss football program as Assistant A.D. for Player Development. A second-generation Rebel and the brother of fellow Ole Miss standout and staffer Matt Luke, Tom... read more
A little more than a year into his first term as Ole Miss Athletics Director, Ross Bjork made his first trip to Starkville this week but did so for a good cause. Bjork and Bulldog AD Scott Stricklin joined forces... read more
Despite losing the All-American twin duo of Marcel and Chris Thiemann and playing in the toughest conference in America, Ole Miss finished the 2013 regular season with a ranking of No. 7 in the nation.The regular season was highlighted by... read more
Injuries have riddled the Ole Miss football team this spring, and after evaluating the situation this week, the coaching staff determined a full scale scrimmage would not be an option for this year's BancorpSouth Grove Bowl. As a result, the... read more