Fall Rewind with the Rebels
Nov. 17, 2017


OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss men's tennis recently concluded the fall season with several highlights to note as the team prepares for an exciting 2018 spring season. 

Quick Hits...
• Sophomore Tim Sandkaulen got the fall started by winning the Southern Intercollegiate Championships, his first collegiate title.
• Senior Gustav Hansson reached the quarterfinals at the All-American Championships and beat a top-10 player.
• Senior Zvonimir Babic and junior Filip Kraljevic won the ITA Southern Regional Championship to earn a bid to the ITA National Fall Championships.
Tim Sandkaulen reached the quarterfinals of the regional championships and earned an at-large bid to the fall championships. He also teamed up with junior Fabian Fallert to go 2-1 in doubles.
Gustav Hansson also qualified for the ITA National Fall Championships, but elected to play the ITF Futures in Birmingham, Alabama instead, where he reached the semifinals.
• At the ITA National Fall Championships, Tim Sandkaulen reached the semifinals of the consolation and picked up three quality wins along the way to finish the fall with a team-leading 9-3 record. Zvonimir Babic and Filip Kraljevic went 1-1 with a close loss in the second round to the current No. 10 team in the nation and finished the fall with a 6-1 record.
• The Rebels are one of eight teams nationally to have four players ranked in the latest singles rankings. Tim Sandkaulen is ranked No. 14, Gustav Hansson is ranked No. 32, Zvonimir Babic is ranked No. 69 and Filip Kraljevic is ranked No 86. Babic and Kraljevic are ranked No. 20 in doubles. 

Courtside with head coach Toby Hansson...

On the good start to the fall...
"We started off the fall with Tim winning the Southern Intercollegiate against some really good competition. We carried that over to the year's first major, the All-American Championships, with all the guys winning at least two or three matches and Gus beating a top-10 player to advance to the quarterfinals. Overall, it was great to see guys like freshman Cotter Wilson coming in and beating some very good players and having a very strong tournament as well as the other guys."

On ITA Southern Regionals... 
"Before the tournament, our goal was to have players qualify for the ITA National Fall Championships, and we did that. We won a lot of matches in singles and doubles against some quality opponents. It was nice to see Tim make the quarterfinals in singles and then earn an at-large bid to the fall championships. Any one of our doubles teams could have won the tournament, but it was nice to see Z and Filip clicking right away in their first tournament back together and beating Mississippi State for us to win the title again. Tim and Fabi played two brilliant matches until they got beat, but they could have easily advanced further.  

On ITA National Fall Championships...
"Every match you win there is a quality win and Tim came up with three solid wins against really good opponents. I think he feels after sitting out the All-American he came back stronger for the regionals and gained momentum. In doubles, Z and Filip battled and had a lot of energy. They kept fighting regardless of the score, and were able to come back and make that second match very close in the end."

On Gus at the ITF Futures...
"Gus beat three really good professional players and handled himself like a pro while he was there from his preparation to the high level he competed at. He played one of the best matches I've seen him play in the quarterfinals. From his late win the summer to his fall success has motivated Gus to continue it into the spring as he competes one last time for the team. I am very excited for him as well as for the other guys on the team."

On the impact of new strength and conditioning coach and athletic trainer...
"We have an entire team behind the success of the players. Our new strength and conditioning coach, Brett Lenaburg, has done an unbelievable job with the guys.  A lot of credit goes to him for putting together such a good program for these guys. He's pushed them when it was time to push them. They trust him and he knows what he is doing.  We wouldn't have had this success without his expertise and his passion to help these guys get better every day. 

"Our new trainer, Nathan Yost, has also done an unbelievable job and has really gone above and beyond what is to be expected. I think the players have a lot of trust in him and he is always bringing new ideas on how we can improve.  We are fortunate to have guys that I trust and the players have a lot of confidence in. That has been very helpful and I think that's going to carry over to the spring."

On preparing for a tough schedule in the spring...
"We need to make sure the guys take care of their school work right now and be prepared once January hits to be ready to go. We have one of the toughest schedules in the country with some very tough opponents on our non-conference schedule."

On the new indoor facility...
"We are very excited about getting in there and being the first team to actually play an official match for the Rebels in our new indoor facility. It's a big moment for everybody that's involved. We couldn't have done this without our generous donors who support us. The guys are very thankful, grateful and excited. We wanted to bring some good teams in to bring out the best in us and to show the fans how great college tennis can be. The guys are looking forward to it, and I also think it motivates them to be ready in the beginning because they know we are going to start off against tough competition." 

Looking ahead to the spring...
After final exams and a break for the semester, the Rebels, led by seniors Gustav Hansson, Zvonimir Babic and Grey Hamilton, will be back to kick off the 2018 season January 20th when they host Troy and Southern Miss in the new indoor tennis center. Following that, the Rebels will head to Charlottesville, Virginia for the ITA Kick-Off before returning home for the official dedication of the new indoor center Feb. 2 against Cornell. 


 

 

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