On Friday, it was freshman Stefan Lindmark coming through in the clutch to give the No. 13 Ole Miss men’s tennis team a 4-3 win over Alabama. Sunday, it was senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng coming up big for the third time this season, winning in three sets at No. 6 singles to give the Rebels a huge 4-3 win against Auburn on the road.
With the wins, Ole Miss (8-2 overall, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) begins league play at 2-0 for the second straight year.
The match came down to court six where Forberg Skogeng broke Auburn’s Michael Wardell at 5-4 in the third set to clinch a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win and the 4-3 victory for the Rebels. Forberg Skogeng had served for it at 5-3, but Wardell broke to keep Auburn alive momentarily.
“The guys did a great job of finding a way to get the win,” Ole Miss coach Billy Chadwick said. “Everybody did a good job of fighting hard from top to bottom. It’s great to go 2-0 on our first road trip in the SEC, and we are looking forward to our upcoming home matches this weekend. We want to invite everyone to spend spring break with the Rebel netters.”
Ole Miss won a close doubles point to take the early 1-0 lead and once again that was the difference. Auburn won 8-3 at No. 2 doubles. In a top-five match-up at No. 1, fifth-ranked Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen edged No. 1 ranked Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane 8-6. Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark broke a 7-7 tie at No. 3 against the Tiger duo of Lukas Ollert and Joseph Van Dooren and won it 9-7 to clinch the point.
Backstrom finished the weekend a perfect 4-0 as he came back to beat Van Dooren at No. 5 singles 1-6, 6-3, 6-0 to make it 2-0 Rebels. Lindmark also registered a perfect weekend, defeating Dennis Lengsfeld 7-6(5), 6-4 at No. 4 singles, giving the Rebels a 3-0 lead.
Needing only one more point, the Rebels would have to wait awhile, as Auburn won the top three spots to even it up, two of which went three sets. Lutjen, ranked No. 5, dropped to 0-2 in the SEC with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss to Cochrane on court two. Scholtz, ranked No. 12, followed with a tough 7-5, 7-6(4) loss to Mies at No. 1. Auburn tied it when Ollert finished off 55th-ranked William Kallberg 6-7 (2), 6-1, 7-5 on court three.
Ole Missreturns home for five straight matches beginning with No. 7 Georgia Friday at 2 p.m. at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. (March 4, 2013, Page 4B)