OXFORD, Miss.- The 21st ranked University of Alabama men’s tennis team fell to fifth ranked Ole Miss today 6-1 . With the loss the Tide falls to 11-4 overall and 2-1 in conference action.
“Not getting the doubles point really hurt us today,” said Alabama head coach Billy Pate. “We were in a position at both two and three to clinch it and didn’t put them away. You just can’t let a great team like Ole Miss have that many chances.”
The Tide’s top doubles tandem of Daniel Buikema and Mat Thibaudeau put in a strong performance at No. 1 doubles by defeating the tenth ranked team of Matthais Wellermann and Bram ten Berge 8-6 to earn the first win of the day.
Courts two and three were close matches but the Tide could not hold on and the Rebels took the doubles point. On court three, Saketh Myneni and Andrew Felsenthal went up 5-1 in the tiebreaker to clinch the point. The pair could not hold on to the lead and fell 9-8(5) to Jakob Klaeson and Tucker Vorster.
Alabama’s Javier Bes and Sammy Struyf had two chances to clinch the doubles point on court two against No. 5 Erling Tveit and Jonas Berg in the longest doubles match of the day. The Tide tandem was outlasted by the Rebels 13-11 in the tiebreaker.
Down 1-0 to start singles, the Tide was competitive at the top of the lineup but could not hold off the higher ranked Rebels. Struyf picked up the first singles win to tie the match at 1-1. Struyf cruised by No. 46 Robbye Poole 7-5, 6-3 to give the Tide its only point of the match.
Thibaudeau fell to the tenth ranked Tveit in a close match, 7-6(4), 7-5 at No. 2 singles to give Ole Miss a 2-1 lead, while Myneni fell to eighth ranked Wellerman in three sets at No. 1.
“We played well at the top half of our singles lineup and just missed having a great day there,” said Pate. “Ole Miss’ strength is their depth and they really played well at four, five and six and didn’t let us have a chance.”
Ole Miss swept the bottom of the Tide lineup to finish the match.
Alabama returns to action this week to prepare for the prestigious Blue/Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. The tournament runs March 13-16.
#21 Alabama 1, #5 Ole Miss 6
Gillom Sports Center
1. #8 Matthais Wellermann (UM) d. #95 Saketh Myneni (UA) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
2. #10 Erling Tveit (UM) d. Mat Thibaudeau (UA) 7-6(4), 7-5
3. Sammy Struyf (UA) d. #46 Robbye Poole (UM) 7-5, 6-3
4. Jonas Berg (UM) d. Daniel Buikema (UA) 6-3, 6-0
5. Kalle Norberg (UM) d. Javier Bes (UA) 6-1, 6-3
6. #113 Bram ten Berge (UM) d. Michael Jung (UA) 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish:3,2,1,4,5,6
1. #45 Buikema/Thibaudeau (UA) d. #10 Wellerman/ten Berge (UM) 8-6
2. #5 Tveit/Berg (UM) d. Bes/Struyf (UA) 9-8(11)
3. Klaeson/Vorster (UM) d. Myneni/Felsenthal (UA) 9-8(5)
Order of finish:1,3,2