STARKVILLE, Miss. – The No. 54 Razorback men’s tennis team was defeated in the first round of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Men’s Tennis Tournament by 13th-ranked Ole Miss, 4-0, Thursday night in Starkville, Miss.
After playing a spirited doubles point that went the Rebels’ way, Arkansas had a first set singles win from junior Gregoire Lehmann
and a three-set match involving junior Mike Ward
. However, Ole Miss jumped on the rest of the Razorbacks early to win three straight set matches at courts two, four and five for the shutout victory.
Arkansas’s overall record moves to 14-13 for the season as they now await the release of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament field.
As doubles began, both Arkansas and Ole Miss played very close points at courts one and three, but it was Ole Miss that dominated from the start at court two. Their 8-0 win from Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann over sophomores Mike Nott
and Manfred Jeske
left them needing just one more doubles win for the early point.
However, at court three, Ward and Lehmann were going back and forth with Johan Backstrom and William Kallberg. Each team holding serve until it was 6-all. At that point, Ole Miss had finally gone up a break at court one and held on to that two game lead for the 8-6 win. The Razorbacks were in the 1-0 hole heading into doubles and now needed four singles wins for the upset victory.
As the match went into singles, things did not get much better for the Razorbacks as five out of the six first sets all went in favor of the Rebels. The one exception came at court one where Lehmann took his first set with 16th-ranked Nik Scholtz, 6-2 and looked to be in good position for the huge ranked win.
Matches started to take a turn in the Hogs favor after Lehmann’s first set win. Ward, who was playing the 84th-ranked Kallberg at court three, bounced back from a first set defeat to win his second set 7-5 and gave the team some new life as many of the matches moved into second sets.
Even with the possibility of wins at courts one and three, Ole Miss had already positioned themselves well at courts two, four and five to win in shutout fashion. First off the courts was No. 39 Jonas Lutjen, who defeated Jeske, 6-0, 6-2. Court four followed with Chris Thiemann topping freshman Jovan Parlic
, 6-3, 6-2 and pushed Ole Miss’ lead to 3-0.
Arkansas wasn’t going to quit, however. Knowing they needed to win out the remaining four singles matches, the Hogs were in good position at the top spot and the No. 3 position and nearly got a great first set comeback from freshman Victor Hoang
. Hoang was down in the first frame to Adrian Forberg Skogeng, 5-1, and then went on to win three straight games before finally dropping the sixth game, losing the set.
The Rebels proved to be too tough in the end as Backstrom clinched the match for the opponents from Oxford, Miss. He defeated Nott, 6-4, 6-3 at court five to give Ole Miss the 4-0 victory and sent the Razorbacks home with a first round loss.
The Razorbacks now await their fate as they will find out if they are participating in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament as an at-large team. Selections for the tournament will be made in approximately two weeks. For complete coverage of the Razorback men’s tennis team or University athletics, please log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#54 Arkansas 0
#13 Ole Miss 4
Complete Doubles Results
Order of Finish: 2, 1*
Complete Singles Results
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 5*
No. 3 Mike Ward
(ARK) vs. #84 William Kallberg (UM) 0-6, 7-5, 3-2, unf.
No. 5 Johan Backstrom (UM) def. Mike Nott
(ARK) 6-4, 6-3
No. 6 Victor Hoang
(ARK) vs. Adrian Forberg Skogeng (UM) 4-6, 4-3, unf.