The season is not quite over for Scholtz and Lutjen who are in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship, which begins May 22 in Champaign, Ill.
LUBBOCK, Texas – The Ole Miss women’s tennis saw its season come to an end here Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Championships with a 4-1 loss to No. 15 ranked Duke at the McLeod Tennis Center.
Duke was limited with five players due to injuries, so the Rebels won the No. 3 doubles match by default. However, the Blue Devils were able to come away with an 8-5 win at No. 2 followed by a 9-7 win at No. 1 to clinch the point.
Without a No. 6 player for Duke, the match was all even before the first hit of the ball in singles. The Rebels couldn’t take advantage though, losing straight set matches and two, four and one in that order.
First off the court, 56th-ranked Mary Clayton defeated sophomore Julia Jones 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2. Marianne Jodoin topped freshman Mai El Kamash 6-3, 6-1, and then 29th-ranked Hanna Mar defeated 45th-ranked Caroline Rohde-Moe 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 for the win.
“This was a very disappointing match today,” head coach Mark Beyers said. “We lost a close tough doubles point and we didn’t recover from that. Overall, Duke outplayed and outfought us. We played some great matches this year, but unfortunately today wasn’t one of them.”
The Rebels end the season at 16-14 while Duke (15-9) moves onto a second round meeting against host Texas Tech.
The season is not quite over Rohde-Moe as she will compete in the NCAA Singles Championship, which begins May 22 in Champaign, Ill.
Ore Propels Aggies to Sweet 16
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 11th-ranked and 12th-seeded Texas A&M men’s tennis team downed the 21st-ranked Texas Longhorns, 4-3, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in front of a season-high 594 fans. The Aggies advance to the Round of 16 to face Ohio State at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Illinois on May 16. The Maroon and White improve to 19-12 on the season while the Longhorns fall to 17-9.
“It’s great. Anytime you beat Texas it’s a great win, especially when you’re in the NCAA Championships and playing for a spot in the Sweet 16,” Texas A&M head coach and Texas alum Steve Denton said. “It’s more significant because of that, but also because it is Texas and we’re such fierce rivals. The teams are very equal, so it was just an exciting victory for our team. I thought this was a dead-even match, even though sometimes rankings can be a little bit skewed. You saw how close the teams were. Obviously we jumped on them in the doubles and then we were able to win a point or two, but then they came right back and then they were ahead 3-2. This was the first time this year where we’ve been down 3-2 and been able to come back and win the match. Really, the tiebreakers were the order of the day for us – Jackson [Withrow] coming back and winning that tiebreaker after being down 6-2 in the tiebreaker, which I was watching from the scoreboard, and then Junior winning two tiebreakers to clinch the match for us”
The No. 8 pair of Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow made quick work of the 41st-ranked team of Chris Camilone and David Holiner, 8-1, from the top-doubles line. The pair built a 5-0 lead before dropping their first and only game in the victory.
Minutes later, the 29th-ranked freshman tandem of Harry Adams and Shane Vinsant finished off Ben Chen and Daniel Whitehead, 8-2, from the No. 2 line to secure the doubles point for the Maroon and White. The pair was able to build a 4-1 lead through the first five games, breaking the Longhorns twice over that span.
For the second time this weekend, the Aggies carried the momentum from winning the doubles point by stretching out wins in four-of-six first sets in singles.
Adams, the 103rd-ranked singles player in the country, made a terrific comeback in the second set to push the Aggies lead to 2-0. After claiming the first set 6-1 over 108th-ranked Whitehead, the New Braunfels native dropped the first three games in the second set and trailed 5-2 before winning five consecutive games to win the set and his match for the Aggies.
The Longhorns cut the deficit in half when 37th-ranked Soren Hess-Olesen upset 18th-ranked Jeremy Efferding, 6-3, 7-6 (0), at the No. 1 line to make the score 2-1. Efferding saw a 4-1 lead collapse over his next four games and was unable to recover in the tiebreaker.
Seconds later, Texas tied the match when Sudanwa Sitaram ousted No. 76 Vinsant in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, at the No. 4 line to even the match up at 2-2.
UT would take the lead when Holiner rebounded against Behzad Minavi. The Houston native was dominant in the first set, winning 6-0 but couldn’t find his shot after that as he fell in the next two sets, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 6 line to give Texas the 3-2 edge.
Withrow wasted no time in tying the match up at three apiece. The Omaha, Neb., native squandered several opportunities to win the match before going to a tiebreaker. After serving for match point at 5-4 and 6-5, the sophomore couldn’t close the deal. Withrow rallied back from a sizable deficit in the tiebreaker to win 6-4, 7-6 (7) at the No. 5 line.
With the match evened up at three, all eyes and spectators gathered around the No. 2 court which would decide the outcome of this outstanding college tennis match. As would only be fitting, a tiebreaker in the third-set would decide the outcome after 100th-ranked Ore stole the first set from 122nd-ranked Lloyd Glasspool 7-6 (2) despite trailing 5-3 and 6-5. Glasspool cruised in the second set to a 6-3 victory. In the third set, both sides each broke their opponent once and held serve the remainder of the way into the tiebreaker.
In the deciding games, Ore broke Glasspool’s serve in the first game to earn an early 1-0 advantage. The junior held serve over the next two games to push his advantage to 3-0. Glasspool would respond, however, by winning each of his next two serves to cut the lead to 3-2. With each side holding serve over the next three serves, Ore broke Glasspool in the eighth game to take a 6-2 lead. After being unable to break Glasspool for the match, Ore placed a perfect winner after serving to secure the match 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (3) and send the Aggies to the Sweet-16 against Ohio State.
“We’ve had some battles where we’ve lost three or four of these 4-3 matches, 7-6 in the third, so I’ve got to tell you I wasn’t all that confident,” Denton said. “But I was confident in the fact that we would fight and that [Junior Ore] would play well. I said that yesterday – I thought we’d play well today. Whether that would be good enough to win the match remained to be seen. He was able to just have enough in the tank. There at the end he played two good tiebreakers, because the other boy actually outplayed him for a lot of the match and probably won more games than he did. He was big in both tiebreakers and he took care of his serve, so that turned out to be the difference for us.”
Texas A&M will be in action again on May 16 when the Aggies take on the No. 5 seed Ohio State Buckeyes at 4 p.m. (CT) in the round of 16 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. To learn more about the men’s tennis team, visit AggieAtheltics.com and follow @AggieMTEN on Twitter.
MSU Downs Harvard
STARKVILLE, Miss. – It had been 12 years since the Mississippi State men’s tennis program has reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Team Championship. Saturday, the 10th-ranked Bulldogs (18-9) punched their ticket for a return to the Round of 16, downing the No. 27 Harvard Crimson (19-6) 4-1 at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
State will now face No. 6 Tennessee on Thursday, May 16, at 12 p.m. CT at the University of Illinois’ Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. With Saturday’s win, the Bulldogs advance to the Round of 16 for the 11th time in school history and the third time since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1999.
“Tough match, but it was really fun as well and I’m just proud of the guys,” head coach Per Nilsson said. “We’re really excited to move on to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2001 and I really feel like we can do some special things from here on out.”
Harvard gained the early edge on the Bulldogs, capturing the doubles point with victories on courts one and three. The Bulldog duo of Pedro Dumont and Ethan Wilkinson downed Harvard’s Nicky Hu and Andy Nguyen 8-3 to start doubles play. However, HU’s Kelvin Lam and Alex Steinroeder upended MSU’s Romain Bogaerts and Zach White to even the score. The Crimson tandem of Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen defeated MSU’s No. 13 duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp to clinch the doubles point for HU.
As doubles play concluded, light rain began to move into the area, but only for a short time. After a brief delay to allow the courts to dry, players took the court for singles play, but more rain moved into the area after just 10 minutes of play to suspend the action for a much longer time.
After an hour and 22-minute delay, play resumed and found the Bulldogs hitting on all cylinders, as they took the first set on all six courts.
State leveled the score at 1-1 when the freshman Dumont defeated Harvard’s Nicholas Mahlangu 6-3, 6-3 on court six.
Following suit was senior leader James Chaudry, who went up a double break in second set on court three, eventually taking the win 6-4, 6-2 from Harvard’s Andy Nguyen to give the Bulldogs the lead at 2-1.
State’s junior Stropp, ranked 57th in the nation, then put the Maroon and White one away from victory, as he closed out the Crimson’s Shaun Chaudhuri 6-2, 6-4 on court two.
The match-clincher then came on court four, as MSU’s freshman Angus battled with HU’s Steinroeder. After cruising in the first set, Angus was forced to a third when he dropped the second 6-1. Steinroeder jumped out early in the third with a break to open, but Angus broke back and then cruised from there, defeating Steinroeder 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to send MSU to the Round of 16.
“Everybody played their part today, it wasn’t just me,” Angus said. “But, to be able to clinch the match, was unreal.”
Play was then suspended on the remaining two courts. MSU’s sixth-ranked Bogaerts led Harvard’s Denis Nguyen 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 on court one. After MSU’s White had taken the first set on court five 6-4, Harvard’s Hu took the second 7-5 as play concluded.
For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstatemt) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstatemt).
Full details on the 2013 NCAA Championship finals at Illinois can be found at http://www.fightingillini.com/ncaatennis2013/.