By Adam Brown
No. 15 seeded Ole Miss men’s tennis team completed the sweep of the Oxford Regional by defeating the Tulane Green Wave on Sunday 4-0. They will soon head to Orlando, Florida for the Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament.
“Feels great. Very exciting, the guys did a tremendous job today,” Ole Miss head coach Toby Hanssson said.
Sunday’s match was moved indoors to the Galtney Center due to rain.
“I think we were ready to play, indoors or out. The guys were excited to play today for sure. I didn’t have to motivate them in any special way,” Hansson said. “I tried to treat it like any other match. Obviously, it’s a different match in a way because it might be the last match of the season, but they just stuck to the routine, stayed focused and were executing well out there today.”
Ole Miss came from behind to claim the doubles portion of the match to take a 1-0 advantage over the Green Wave. The Rebels then controlled the bottom three singles positions, winning Nos. 4-6 doubles in straight sets. The Rebels earned a total sweep by claiming all matches in both singles and doubles and handed the Green Wave its first sweep defeat of 2021.
Ole Miss prevailed over Tulane in a heavily-contested doubles portion of the match. Brady Draheim and Simon Junk held their own on Court No. 2, defeating Tulane’s Akos Kotorman and Billy Suarez, 6-3, to put the Rebels up 1-0. The Rebels and Green Wave battled back-and-forth on Courts No. 1 and No. 3, going to tiebreaks in both matches. Jakob Cadonau and Lukas Engelhardt clinched doubles, 2-0, by claiming the tiebreak 7-2 over Luis Erlenbusch and Fynn Kuenkler. The Rebels earned their first victory at No. 3 doubles in the last 11 matches.
“The whole team’s performance was very good, and I’m very pleased with the fact that we are through to Orlando and the Sweet 16,” John Hallquist Lithen said. “(Clinching at home) was great. Due to COVID, there were some restrictions, but we still managed to get some fans in, which was incredible. I think they did a great job of making an incredible atmosphere here.”
Ole Miss will take on Baylor on May 17 at 12 p.m. in the Sweet 16 round in Orlando.