OXFORD, Miss. – The fall season wraps up this weekend for the Ole Miss men’s tennis team, and they would like to cap it off with a successful showing at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. Junior Nik Scholtz is competing in the singles draw, while teammates William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark are in the doubles field Nov. 7-10 at the famed USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships serve as the culmination of the fall college tennis 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 exciting to have three players in this elite tournament, good representation of the university,” said associate head coach Toby Hansson. “We’ve done a great job in the regionals in the last decade, winning both singles and doubles, to advance to New York.”
Gaining automatic entry into the tournament are the men’s and women’s champions from each of the 12 Division I USTA/ITA Regional Championships held across the country in October, winners of the USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl, singles quarterfinalists from the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships, singles semifinalists from the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships along with consolation champions and doubles finalists from both All-American events.
The men’s singles field showcases six of the top 10 players from the ITA Division I Men’s Preseason Rankings. Twenty-one colleges and universities will be represented in the 32-player singles draw.
Among those is Scholtz, who is ranked No. 7 in the preseason ITA Rankings. Scholtz (6-2) is making his second consecutive appearance at the national indoor after receiving an at-large bid as a finalist from the Southern Region.
“I served for the first set and even had set points, then the next thing you know the tables turned,” said Scholtz on the regional final. “When you have someone on the ropes, you have to finish them. Obviously I am happy to have received an at-large bid. It’s a big opportunity and I want to make the most of it.”
“He showed some glimpses of good tennis at the regionals, but he wasn’t able to keep that level up throughout the entire tournament,” Hansson said. “He’ll get another opportunity this week to show that he can play with the best.”
Joining Scholtz in New York, Kallberg and Lindmark booked their spot in the doubles by winning the Southern Region Championships. The lefty duo (6-1) became the fourth straight Rebel tandem to earn a spot in the doubles.
Lindmark says he is excited about going back to New York. The sophomore played the Australian Junior, Wimbledon and French Open Juniors, but has never been to the site of the U.S. Open before.
“I went to New York about four years ago with my family, but that’s the only time I’ve ever been. We went on vacation there. I am very excited to go back and to play nationals,” Lindmark said.
This marks the first major national collegiate event for Kallberg and Lindmark to team up in, but the duo sensed the pairing might work after teaming up this summer.
“We played a few matches this summer back home and had some success,” Lindmark said. We played pretty well. We complement each other well, because we play different styles. That’s a good thing in doubles. William has improved a lot in doubles, his volleys are better. That’s a big key.”
Kallberg agrees. “Stefan is a great doubles player. He plays well on both sides of the ball. We’ve been doing well this fall, especially at regionals. We were down a double-break in the quarterfinals and came back and won.”
Doubles is all about chemistry and mixing different styles and personalities to find a winning combination. Hansson thinks Lindmark and Kallberg have the makings of a solid pairing.
“Stefan is a finesse player who has a lot of variety, and William is a very powerful player. They complement each other well on the court. They get along great on the court as well as off the court. You can see that when they are playing together, they seem to really be enjoying themselves, having a lot of fun. They are always smiling on the court, and hopefully we can continue smiling up in New York.”
For complete coverage of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, including access to draws, live scores and more, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, or like the ITA Facebook page for updates and news from Flushing. Use the hashtag #NationalIndoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term “NationalIndoors” to find others who are tweeting about the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
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