The Ole Miss men’s tennis duo of John Hallquist Lithen and Simon Junk wrapped up their time at the ITA National Fall Championships on Thursday, as the pair made it as far as the Round of 32 before seeing their fall seasons come to a close.
Following a stellar five-win streak in doubles for the doubles pairing at the ITA Southern Regional Championships just two weeks ago, Lithen and Junk finished as regional runners-up to secure automatic bids into the Fall Nationals doubles bracket.
Despite battling it out with some of the nation’s best, the Rebel duo ultimately finished their time in San Diego with an 0-2 record. Lithen and Junk mark the first doubles pairing from Ole Miss to have qualified for the ITA National Fall Championships since Zvonimir Babic and Filip Kraljevic did so in 2017.
“Good experience for John and Simon to play against some of the best teams in the country,” assistant coach Kalle Norberg said. “It’s always small margins in doubles and unfortunately they came up short in the two matches they played here.”
To open their tournament, Lithen and Junk matched up against the talented Pepperdine pairing of Daniel De Jonge and Tim Zietvogel in the tournament’s Round of 32. Each game proved to be a close one throughout the match, as point-by-point the Rebels fought to try to punch their ticket into the next round of action.
The Pepperdine duo ultimately would prevail, capturing a 6-2, 6-4 win over the Rebels to send Lithen and Junk into the consolation Round of 16.
In consolation play, Lithen and Junk took on Louisville’s Natan Rodrigues and Fabien Salle, a doubles team that had entered the fall season ranked No. 48 in the country prior to winning the 2022 Ohio Valley Regional Doubles Championship.
Lithen and Junk once again fought the distance against their ranked opponents, but the Louisville duo would eventually claim a 6-3, 6-3 win to close out the Rebel pairing’s fall season.
The rest of the Rebel squad will wrap up the team’s fall schedule by taking part in the Georgia Tech Invitational, with action set to run Nov. 4-6.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports