The Ole Miss men’s tennis team closed out a difficult weekend of action at the ITA Kickoff event in Charlottesville with the Rebels (3-1) taking down Nevada (0-3) by means of a 4-0 sweep on Sunday.
Spearheading the dominant Rebel performance were the tandem of Simon Junk and John Hallquist Lithen, who helped clinch the Rebels’ victory in doubles while also both earning straight-set singles wins enroute to a 4-0 scoreline in favor of Ole Miss.
“It felt great to get the win with the team,” Lithen said. “All teams can play, but I feel like we have some stuff to improve on in order to compete well with the SEC teams in a couple of weeks.”
Freshman Noah Schlagenhauf also continued to dazzle for the Rebels, securing his fourth consecutive singles win for the squad and remaining undefeated on the year. Schlagenhauf still has yet to lose a set of collegiate singles, winning all four of his matches this season in straight sets.
To open the morning up, the Rebels took the courts for doubles action against the Wolfpack looking to set the tone early. No. 1 doubles partners Nikola Slavic and Lukas Engelhardt did just that, cruising their way to a 6-2 victory to put the Rebels a win away from clinching the match’s doubles point.
After going up 4-0 to open their match, John Hallquist Lithen and Simon Junk got the job done for the Rebels, earning a 6-3 win to secure the team’s doubles point and put Ole Miss up 1-0 right from the start of the match. Freshmen Isac Strömberg and Noah Schlagenhauf saw their doubles match remain unfinished.
Ole Miss opened up singles play with the same intensity they showcased in doubles, with five out of six Rebels winning the opening set of their respective match. Leading the charge was Noah Schlagenhauf playing in the No. 5 singles position, as the freshman once again made quick work of his opponent to notch yet another straight-set singles victory in his young career.
Junk and Lithen would follow up the freshman’s win on Court 5 with straight-set victories of their own to clinch the match in favor of the Rebels. First it was Junk grabbing a 6-3, 6-4 win for the squad before Lithen secured the Rebel sweep with a 7-5, 6-2 win in the No. 2 position.
“Looking at my own match, I actually felt pretty bad,” Lithen said. “Sometimes you just have to play with what you have for that day and just dig deep mentally. I was able to do that and now we are looking forward to a great home weekend starting Friday against Columbia.”
The Rebels now return to Oxford to kickoff what will be an eight-match homestand spanning over the month of February and into early March. The squad will be put to the test right away on Friday, February 3 when the Rebels play host to No. 21 ranked Columbia at 5 p.m. CT at William F. Galtney Indoor Tennis Center. They will then face a quick turnaround to host a formidable foe in Tulane on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
Ole Miss 4, Nevada 0
Nikola Slavic/Lukas Engelhardt (OM) def. Coupu/N’Tcha (NEV) 6-2
John Hallquist Lithen/Simon Junk (OM) def. Benn/Zisswiller (NEV) 6-3
Isac Strömberg/Noah Schlagenhauf (OM) vs. Liborio/Kadiri Hassani (NEV) 5-4 unfinished
Order of finish: 1, 2
Nikola Slavic (OM) vs. Pedro Liborio (NEV) 6-4, 4-3 unfinished
John Hallquist Lithen (OM) def. Delmas N’Tcha (NEV) 7-5, 6-2
Simon Junk (OM) def. Matheo Coupu (NEV) 6-3, 6-4
Lukas Engelhardt (OM) vs. Youssef Kadiri Hassani (NEV) (9) 6-7, 3-3 unfinished
Noah Schlagenhauf (OM) def. Satchel Benn (NEV) 6-4, 6-2
Isac Strömberg (OM) vs. Loris Zisswiller (NEV) 7-5, 1-6 unfinished
Order of finish: 5, 3, 2
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports