Ole Miss Men’s Tennis Dominates Tulane, Advances to NCAA Sweet 16
OXFORD, Miss. – No. 15 overall seed Ole Miss (13-10) earned a 4-0 victory over Tulane (15-8) in the NCAA Team Championships round of 32 on Sunday. The Rebels punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 and will face No. 2 Baylor at the NCAA Championships final site in Orlando, Florida on May 17.
Ole Miss defended home court this weekend at the Oxford Regional. The hosting Rebels earned back-to-back sweeps in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Team Championships after also defeating Belmont, 4-0, on Saturday. All three matches at the Oxford Regional ended in sweeps, as Tulane also defeated Middle Tennessee, 4-0, on Saturday prior to falling to the Rebels in the Regional Championship Match.
The Rebels rallied to claim the opening decision point in doubles and take a 1-0 advantage over the Green Wave. Ole Miss 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. Play between No. 1 Finn Reynolds and Tim Sandkaulen and No. 21 Ewan Moore and Hamish Stewart halted with Tulane’s top pair leading 3-2 in the tiebreak. Reynolds and Sandkaulen came back from 5-2 down to keep their nine-match win streak alive.
The Rebels quickly took a 2-0 lead over the Green Wave by claiming No. 4 Singles. John Hallquist Lithén earned a commanding 6-0, 6-0 victory over Tulane’s Billy Suarez in under one hour. Lithén won both his matches this weekend while only losing three total games. Engelhardt extended the Rebels’ lead to 3-0 by winning 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 Singles over Keunkler. Engelhardt improved to 2-0 in postseason play (won versus Tennessee in the SEC Championships). Junk clinched the match for Ole Miss on Court No. 5. Junk defeated Rafael de Alba, 6-2, 6-3, to seal a 4-0 Ole Miss win.
The Rebels advance to play No. 2 Baylor in the Sweet 16 on May 17 at 12 p.m. CT at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida. Ole Miss last reached the Sweet 16 in 2018, falling, 4-3, to No. 13 Florida in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
For full weekend results from the Oxford Regional go to: www.OleMissSports.com/
Head Coach Toby Hansson’s Thoughts
“I believe we’re playing some very good tennis. We’re finding a way to win the doubles point, and that’s very encouraging. From there on out today, we started off very quick in singles on court number four, and that helped continue the momentum in our favor. It was a team effort all the way, from top to bottom. It was great to play in front of the home crowd too. The fans created an enthusiastic atmosphere that our players fed off of.”
1. #32 Tim Sandkaulen (Ole Miss) vs. #35 Hamish Stewart (Tulane), 6-7 (7-9), 4-2 (unfinished)
2. #16 Finn Reynolds (Ole Miss) vs. Ewan Moore (Tulane), 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (unfinished)
3. #29 Nikola Slavic (Ole Miss) vs. Luis Erlenbusch (Tulane), 3-6, 6-2 (unfinished)
4. J. Hallquist Lithen (Ole Miss) def. Billy Suarez (Tulane), 6-0, 6-0
5. Simon Junk (Ole Miss) def. Rafael de Alba (Tulane), 6-2, 6-3
6. Lukas Engelhardt (Ole Miss) def. Fynn Kuenkler (Tulane), 6-2, 6-3
1. #1 Finn Reynolds/Tim Sandkaulen (Ole Miss) vs. #21 Ewan Moore/Hamish Stewart (Tulane), 6-6 (2-3) (unfinished)
2. Brady Draheim/Simon Junk (Ole Miss) def. Akos Kotorman/Billy Suarez (Tulane), 6-3
3. Jakob Cadonau/Lukas Engelhardt (Ole Miss) def. Luis Erlenbusch/Fynn Kuenkler (Tulane), 7-6 (2)
For more information on Ole Miss Men’s Tennis, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMTennis, on Facebook at OleMissMTennis and on Instagram at OleMissMTennis, follow Coach Hansson on Twitter at @TennisToby.