OXFORD, Miss. – When they secured the last point to win the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Doubles title, junior Jonas Lutjen and sophomore Johan Backstrom accomplished a first. They earned a trip to New York and the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
This week, the duo will be among the nation’s best players in the exclusive 20-team field at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The tournament begins Thursday Nov. 3 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 6.
As the only tournament on the ITA calendar to showcase elite players from every level of college tennis, the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships serves as the culmination of the fall season. Hosted by Columbia University, this prestigious event features a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles draw for men and women.
“It’s going to be a great experience. It’s my first trip to New York, and I am really excited,” Backstrom said. “I am looking forward to seeing the city and playing at the same facility where they host the U.S. Open. It’s just going to be amazing.”
Six of the nation’s top 10 teams are in the field including the No. 1 ranked team from Georgia Tech. Both Lutjen and Backstrom are looking forward to the challenge.
“We’re right there with some of the top teams,” Lutjen said. “We played well against some good teams last week, and we’re hoping to do the same this week. If we stay positive we have a good chance to do well this week.”
Lutjen and Backstrom played a few matches together last year, but at the ITA Southern Regional things really came together for both as they won six matches en route to the title.
“We served well at regionals, and that made the difference for us. We are playing well right now,” Backstrom said. “We played together some last season, but we are playing a lot better now. We’ve made some improvements in our games.”
“As Johan said, we’ve both been serving well and also returning well. We always fight hard on every point. No one expected us to be in New York, and now we’re going to face some of the best teams in the nation,” Lutjen said. “It will be my first time in New York as well, and I am really looking forward to it.”
Lutjen and Backstrom have a bye in the first round and will face the No. 4 seeded team of Nick Andrews-Chris Konigsfeldt from California at 9:30 a.m. CT Thursday.
The duo became the second Rebel tandem in a row to win the regional and advance to the National Indoor. Twins Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann won the Southern Regional last year and went on to reach the finals in New York.
“They’re two of the most improved players in the country and they showed that at the regionals in both singles and doubles,” said head coach Billy Chadwick, on his latest Southern Regional champions. “We’re very excited to be going to New York, and extremely proud of them. When you’re playing indoor doubles and playing a pro set, it is wide open. The key is you have to make sure and take care of your serve and be ready to play from the first point.”
Live scoring of the matches will be available by going to OleMissSports.com and clicking on the link in the calendar. There will also be an exclusive live chat throughout the tournament at USTA.com.
Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more
The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more
With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more
Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more
Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more
The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more
Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more
Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more
Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more
In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama. - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more
With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more