STARKVILLE, Miss. – In what began a clear and sunny day and quickly turned to rain, the No. 13 Mississippi State men’s tennis squad (13-7, 3-5 SEC) fell to No. 10 Ole Miss (13-5, 6-3 SEC) in an exciting match at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre Friday that finally ended around 8 p.m.
Ole Miss controlled the opening doubles point, winning matches on courts two and three to secure the early 1-0 lead. The No. 67 UM duo of Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark defeated MSU’s Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson 8-2 on court two. UM then clinched the point with an 8-4 victory on court three from the UM tandem of William Kallberg and Zach Wilder against MSU’s No. 73 team of Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont, despite a solid effort from the MSU pair to come back in that contest.
Two top 15 doubles teams were locked in a heated battle on court one before being suspended. The Bulldogs’ 15th-ranked duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp were tied at 6-6 with No. 4 Rebel squad of Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz when the doubles point was clinched.
State would fire back in singles, taking the first set on five of the six courts to capture the momentum in the match, and the Bulldogs looked poised for a big comeback just as the clouds swept over the Pitts Tennis Centre and the rain began to fall on the MSU campus. It was a total of three hours and 14 minutes before the courts were dry again and action resumed between the two rival schools.
With play resumed, it was anyone’s match as the Rebels still clung to a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs evened the score when MSU freshman Pedro Dumont defeated UM’s Adrian Forberg Skogeng 6-2, 6-3 on court six and State gained the lead at 2-1 when its 18th-ranked Bogaerts took down Ole Miss’ No. 8 Scholtz 6-2, 6-4 on court one.
But the Rebels would claim the next three points to clinch the win, two in three-set rallies. UM tied the match at 2-2 when MSU’s White fell to UM’s Backstrom 6-1, 6-2 on court five. Ole Miss then grabbed a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory on court three to take a 3-2 lead as the Rebels’ No. 84 Kallberg downed MSU’s Angus.
The Bulldogs would then need victories on courts two and four to capture victory. Ole Miss pushed both matches to final sets with 7-6(4) victories in the second sets on each court. As MSU’s James Chaudry and UM’s Lindmark traded holds to open the third set on court four, the Rebels’ No. 12 Lutjen claimed a 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 triumph over MSU’s No. 50 Stropp to clinch the team match for the visitors from Oxford.
Play on court four was suspended between Chaudry and Lindmark at 7-5, 6-7(4), 1-1.
MSU will return to action next Friday, April 5, as it takes on No. 25 South Carolina for the Bulldogs’ 2013 Senior Day. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. CT at the Pitts Tennis Centre.
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1. #4 Scholtz/Lutjen (OM) vs. #15 Angus/Stropp (MSU) 6-6, sus.
2. #67 Lindmark/Backstrom (OM) def. White/Wilkinson (MSU) 8-2
3. Kallberg/Wilder (OM) def. #73 Bogaerts/Dumont (MSU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3
1. #15 Romain Bogaerts (MSU) def. #8 Nik Scholtz (OM) 6-2, 6-4
2. #12 Jonas Lutjen (OM) def. #50 Malte Stropp (MSU) 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2
3. #84 William Kallberg (OM) def. Jordan Angus (MSU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
4. Stefan Lindmark (OM) vs. James Chaudry (MSU) 5-7, 7-6(4), 1-1, sus.
5. Johan Backstrom (OM) def. Zach White (MSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Pedro Dumont (MSU) def. Adrian Forberg Skogeng (OM) 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 5, 3, 2