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    Monday SEC Tennis Report

    Stropp Upsets Scholtz To Claim 2013 ITA Southern Region Crown

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the second-consecutive year, MSU senior Malte Stropp has earned the honor of being one of the best in the ITA’s Southern Region, as the 40th-ranked player in the nation upset Ole Miss’ No. 7 Nik Scholtz to claim the 2013 USTA/ITA Southern Region singles title Monday. 
     
    Along with Jordan Angus, Stropp also claimed 2012 USTA/ITA Southern Region doubles championship.
     
    Stropp, the No. 3 seed this weekend, found himself down 4-1 in the first set to Scholtz, the tourney’s top-seeded player. However, Stropp fought back to put the match back on serve, down 5-4 to Scholtz, eventually pushing the first set to a tiebreaker. From there, MSU’s veteran leader took the tiebreaker and opening set 7-6(4), and carried that momentum to a dominate second set to take the match and the title 7-6(4), 6-2.
     
    With the win at this weekend’s ITA Regional event, Stropp advances to the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y., Nov. 7-10.
     
    “I came to this tournament without any wins so far this fall, so I would say my confidence was not very high,” Stropp said. “And I actually did not feel very good on the court during the first couple of matches, but I somehow found a way to win and all of a sudden I started playing better and better. Now I’m just happy that I can go back to the National Indoors in New York, which was my goal this fall.”
     
    “This tournament really showed how mental this game really is,” sixth-year head coach Per Nilsson said. “Malte (Stropp) was really impressive mentally throughout the tournament without feeling good about his game. He’s a great example for our team to learn from.”
     
    For more information on Mississippi State men’s tennis, fans can follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (@HailStateMT), Facebook (HailStateMT) and Instagram (HailStateMT). Mississippi State Athletics can also be found on FanCred by going to http://www.fancred.com/go/hailstate/.



    Ole Miss Duo Punches Ticket to New York

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the fourth year in a row, Ole Miss will be represented at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, as William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark won the USTA/ITA Southern Regional  Doubles Championship Monday morning at the Alabama Tennis Stadium to earn their ticket to New York.  
     
    The football team plays LSU later this week in Oxford, but Kallberg and Lindmark, seeded No. 4, got the party started a little early, defeating the LSU tandem of Chris Simpson and Boris Arias, seeded No. 3, 8-5 in the final, to become the third Rebel team in four years to win the regional title.
     
    Kallberg and Lindmark got out to a 4-2 lead in the match, before LSU broke to get within 3-4.  However, the Rebel duo broke back and held for a 6-3 lead, which they would not relinquish on their way to the 8-5 win.
     
    “We are both very excited about winning and qualifying for New York,” said Kallberg and Lindmark after the match.  It will be a great opportunity and experience for us.  This was our second tournament together this fall and we have improved in each match.  This championship was a testament to hard work. If you work hard good things will happen.  Nothing is handed to you.”
     
    With their win, Kallberg and Lindmark improved to 6-1 together this year.
     
    “Both guys played really well, they played with a lot of energy,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. It’s great to see them start to play so much better in doubles on an individual basis.  Willie has really improved his play at the net, and Stefan is a machine returning the ball.  Both also did a great job of stepping it up on their serves.  It was fun to watch.”
     
    It marks the second time in two years that the Rebels to have beaten LSU in the doubles final.  In 2011, current senior Johan Backstrom teamed up with former two-time All-American Jonas Lutjen to defeat Simpson and then partner Olivier Borsos by the same score. 
     
    The Rebels were hoping for a repeat of 2010, when they swept the regional titles, but that didn’t happen, as junior Nik Scholtz lost in his bid to repeat as regional champion, to Mississippi State’s Malte Stropp.
     
    Scholtz, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, jumped out to a big lead in the first set.  At 4-1, he had numerous chances to gain another break, but Stropp, the No. 3 seed in the draw, fought off at least 12 break points according to Chadwick.  Serving for the first set at 5-4, Scholtz was broken by Stropp.  The two eventually went to a tiebreaker, which Stropp won 7-4.  With momentum on his side, Stropp got off to a fast start in the second set on his way to winning it 6-2. 
     
    "Nik was playing really well, completely controlling everything.  He had a bunch of break points to get a second break to go up 5-1,” Chadwick said.  “He had a set point at 5-4 serving for it.  After that Stropp played really well and it was an uphill battle for Nik.   Hopefully Nik learned a lot from this match.”
     
    The USTA/ITA National Indoor will take place Nov. 7-10 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
     
    Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.



    Georgia's Pasha Advances To ITA Regional Final

    ATLANTA-----University of Georgia junior Nathan Pasha won two matches on Monday to advance to the final of the ITA Southeast Regional Championships at Georgia Tech's Ken Byers Tennis Complex.

    Pasha defeated Florida Gulf Coast's Jordi Vives, 6-4, 6-4, then topped Florida's Elliott Orkin, 6-1, 6-2, to reach the final. The Atlanta native will face South Florida freshman Sasha Gozun Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

    "Nathan has been extremely solid all week," said head coach Manuel Diaz. "I'm looking forward to him playing in the final. We try to keep getting these guys to take little steps. He was dominant today in his semifinal match and he's starting to feel more confident, and that's what we want to see."

    The singles and doubles winners from all 12 regional sites will earn bids to the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York Nov. 7-10. Pasha will look to join Austin Smith, who clinched a singles berth by reaching the quarterfinals of the All-American Championships.

    "The last two tournaments were tough at Vanderbilt and All-Americans," Pasha said. "I haven't really taken any breaks since then. It was disappointing, but it was also motivating at the same time. I've just been going to work and it's good to see that it's paying off."

    Pasha, seeded No. 2, is searching for his second title of the fall. He won the Southern Intercollegiates to start the season in September. Pasha will also look to become the 11th Georgia player to win the ITA Regional singles title.

    In other action, senior Garrett Brasseaux dropped a 7-6(4), 6-2 decision in the quarterfinals. In the consolation draw, Eric Diaz defeated Florida State's Marco Nunez by walkover, then was edged in the semifinals by Georgian Tech's Carlos Benito, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(1).

    "Garrett lost a close one in the quarters, but it was his first tournament," Manuel Diaz said. "It was the kind of match I think he can win, but you have to give a lot of credit to Orkin. He's had a great week. Eric had a good first tournament of the fall as well and won three matches in the consolation draw, and that is encouraging. We have a couple of weeks where we have to get back and get rested and work to continue to make progress as a team."