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Men’s Tennis Falls Short in Comeback Against South Carolina

OXFORD, Miss. – The No. 32 Ole Miss men’s tennis team fell in a heartbreaker Friday evening, with the Rebels dropping their match against No. 6 South Carolina, 5-2.

The Rebels (13-6, 3-4 SEC) fought to the very end against the Gamecocks (17-3, 6-2 SEC), staying within striking distance in nearly every match until the very end. Despite this, the No. 6 South Carolina side was able to power through Ole Miss to grab a 5-2 victory in Oxford.

To open the day in doubles, the Rebels battled with some difficult doubles matchups, including John Hallquist Lithen and Simon Junk taking on the No. 1 doubles pairing in the country. With hard-fought matches across all three courts, the Gamecocks were able to prevail with 6-4 and 6-3 victories on Court 1 and 3, claiming the doubles point.

After playing the opening few games of singles at Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center, rain forced the Rebels indoors to the William F. Galtney Tennis Center to conclude the remainder of the match.

The Gamecocks kept their momentum from doubles going, earning a quick singles victory on Court 6 to put USC up 2-0 on the Rebels. Ole Miss was able to find a response however, in the form of Lukas Engelhardt.

The Augsburg, Germany, native rose to the occasion in No. 4 singles when matches up against the No. 82 singles player in the nation, navigating the match for a clean 6-4, 6-1 win to put the Rebels on the board. The win marks Engelhardt’s first ranked singles win of the season, as well as just his fourth ranked singles win of his career.

Once again, the Gamecocks responded to this, however, with Simon Junk falling 6-4, 6-1 on Court 3 to put South Carolina up 3-1. The Rebels were now in a position where they needed to win out the remaining three matches in order to clinch the upset win.

Freshman Noah Schlagenhauf got the Rebels off on the right foot with a gritty performance in No. 5 singles. The youngster battled his way through a 6-4 opening set win, before grinding out a tiebreaker win in set two, 7-6(4), to bring the Rebels within striking distance once again.

Despite two very close matches for the Rebels in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, neither Nikola Slavic nor John Hallquist Lithen were able to push the Rebels past the Gamecocks. Slavic would ultimately drop a tightly contested 7-6(4), 7-5 matchup with No. 3 ranked Toby Samuel, while Lithen took his match to three sets before falling 10-7 in a third-set super tiebreaker.

When all was said and done at Galtney Tennis Center, the Gamecocks evaded the Rebel upset by a score of 5-2.

Up Next

The team will now have a day off to prepare for their match on Sunday, April 2, with the Rebels playing host to No. 44 LSU (10-7, 1-6 SEC). The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. CT at Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center, weather permitting.

Ole Miss 2, South Carolina 5


No. 1 Thomson/Samuel (USC) def. John Hallquist Lithen/Simon Junk (OM) 6-4
Lukas Engelhardt/Isac Strömberg (OM) vs. No. 43 Beasley/Story (USC) 4-5 unfinished
Lambling/Hoole (USC) def. Nikola Slavic/Noah Schlagenhauf (OM) 6-3

Order of finish: 3, 1


No. 3 Toby Samuel (USC) def. No. 66 Nikola Slavic (OM) 7-6(4), 7-5
No. 8 Connor Thomson (USC) def. John Hallquist Lithen (OM) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0(10-7)
No. 111 Raphael Lambling (USC) def. Simon Junk (OM) 6-4, 6-1
Lukas Engelhardt (OM) def. No. 82 Casey Hoole (USC) 6-4, 6-1
Noah Schlagenhauf (OM) def. Jake Beasley (USC) 6-4, 7-6(4)
Lucas da Silva (USC) def. Isac Strömberg (OM) 6-2, 6-2

Order of finish: 6, 4, 3, 5, 1, 2

Source : Ole Miss