No. 32 Ole Miss men’s tennis (16-13, 4-8 SEC) fell in a tightly contested 4-2 defeat against No. 37 Utah (21-7, 4-4 PAC-12) in the team’s opening round matchup of the 2022 NCAA Team Championships on Friday in Texas.
A back-and-forth match from the first serve, the Rebels were able to capture a Doubles point and a Singles victory in the No. 5 position, but would ultimately fall to the Utes with a total of four Singles matches reaching a third set of play. Ole Miss, the No. 2 Seed in the Fort Worth Region, fell to the third-seeded Utes 4-2 marking the end of the Rebels’ NCAA Team Tournament, with the team now looking ahead to Individual NCAA Championships later this month.
The Rebels started their match off by capturing a very tightly contested Doubles point, taking No. 3 Doubles to open the contest. Led by the pairing of John Hallquist Lithén and Nikola Slavic, the duo would power through their Doubles match to claim a 6-2 win in the third Doubles position.
Utah fought back by capturing No. 1 Doubles, 6-3, before the pairing of Simon Junk and Jan Soren Hain took their No. 2 Doubles matchup 7-5 to give Ole Miss an early advantage heading into Singles play.
Utah would battle back from this, leading off Singles play by capturing the No. 3 and No. 6 Singles matches in two and three sets, respectively. Ole Miss responded with a Singles win of their own in the No. 5 position, with Simon Junk winning back-to-back sets to earn a three-set 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory to level the scoreboard at 2-2.
Ole Miss was unable to mount another push, however, with the Utes claiming No. 4 and No. 2 Singles wins to see Utah clinch their spot in the second round of the NCAA Team Championships with a final score of 4-2.
Up Next: The Rebels will now turn their attention to the Individual NCAA Championships beginning May 23 in Champaign-Urbana, IL.
Utah 4, Ole Miss 2
1. #27 Geronimo Espin/Franco Capalbo (UU) def. #19 Finn Reynolds/Lukas Engelhardt (OM), 6-3
2. Simon Junk/Jan Soren Hain (OM) def. Bruno Krenn/Francisco Bastias (UU), 7-5
3. John Hallquist Lithén/Nikola Slavic (OM) def. Mathias Gavelin/Jayson Blando (UU), 6-2
Order of finish (3, 1, 2)
1. #14 Nikola Slavic (OM) vs. Franco Capalbo (UU), 7-6, 4-6, 1-2 (unfinished)
2. Francisco Bastias (UU) def. Finn Reynolds (OM), 5-7, 7-5, 6-3
3. #107 Geronimo Espin (UU) def. John Hallquist Lithén (OM), 6-2, 6-1
4. Bruno Caula (UU) def. Lukas Engelhardt (OM), 6-4, 7-6
5. Simon Junk (OM) def. Mathias Gavelin (UU), 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
6. Bruno Krenn (UU) def. Jakob Cadonau (OM), 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
Order of finish (3, 6, 5, 4, 2)
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports