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BATON ROUGE, La. - The No. 7 ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team dropped a very close doubles point to No. 48 ranked LSU Friday, and that proved to be the difference as the Tigers defeated the Rebels 4-3 at the Dub Robinson Tennis Stadium.
It marked the third straight loss for the Rebels in SEC play, as the fell to 11-5 overall and 4-3 in the conference. It was also the team's first loss to a team ranked outside the top 25 this season. The Rebels will travel to Fayetteville Sunday for a 12:30 p.m. match against Arkansas.
After dropping a very close doubles point, the Rebels rebounded to win three of the top four singles with Jonas Lutjen, Nik Scholtz and William Kallberg all taking them in straight sets. LSU would win at No. 3 and 6.
With the match tied at three, all eyes turned to court five where Rebel junior Johan Backstrom and LSU senior Mark Bowtell were locked in a third set. Bowtell gained a break at 2-2 in and held on to win the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and clinch the team victory.
"This was a tough loss," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "We played great at No. 1 doubles and Nik and Jonas played great in singles. Willie played great at No. 4 singles, but we just couldn't get that last point. We seemed to be snakebit lately. We have to regroup and get ready for Arkansas on Sunday."
Scholtz and Lutjen won 8-4 at No. 1 doubles to improve to 13-2 there, but LSU was able to come away with an 8-6 win on court two and a big tiebreaker at No. 3 to clinch the point.
Lutjen put the Rebels on the board with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Olivier Borsos at No. 2 singles, but LSU regained the lead when Stefan Szacinski beat Rebel freshman Stefan Lindmark 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 singles.
William Kallberg posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tam Trinh at No. 4 singles and then moments later Scholtz finished off Chris Simpson 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1 singles to give Ole Miss a 3-2 lead.
Needing just one more point to win with two matches on court, the Rebels couldn't quite finish it. At No. 6 singles, senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng held a 5-3 lead in the first set against Boris Arias, but ended up dropping it 7-5. Arias broke early in the second and went on to win it 5-2 to square the match and set up his teammate's clinching victory at five.
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#48 LSU 4, #7 Ole Miss 3 Doubles 1. #6 Scholtz/Lutjen (OM) def. Borsos/Anderson (LSU) 8-4 2. Trinh/Szacinski (LSU) def. Backstrom/Lindmark (OM) 8-6 3. Bowtell/Simpson (LSU) def. Kallberg/Zach Wilder (OM) 9-8(5) Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3 Singles 1. Nik Scholtz (OM) def. Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-3, 6-3 2. Jonas Lutjen (OM) def. Olivier Borsos (LSU) 6-2, 6-2 3. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-3, 6-3 4. William Kallberg (OM) def. Tam Trinh (LSU) 6-3, 6-3 5. Mark Bowtell (LSU) def. Johan Backstrom (OM) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 6. Boris Arias (LSU) def. Adrian Forberg Skogeng (OM) 7-5, 6-2 Order of Finish: 2, 3, 4, 1, 6, 5