NASHVILLE, Tennessee. – Men’s tennis team Ole Miss ended the game in the opening round of the Commodore Invitational on Friday when junior John Hallquist Lithén claimed the team’s first singles win of the season over a ranked opponent.
Lithén opened his season on a high by earning a victory over Vanderbilt’s Joubert Klopper, ranked 59th in the country, according to the ITA. Lithén’s strong 6-4, 6-2 victory over his ranked opponent takes him to the quarterfinals of Flight A in singles matches on Saturday.
The Rebels finished the day 1-3 in singles as well as 0-2 in doubles to open their weekend in Nashville. Both of the team’s doubles matches, as well as two singles matches, featured clashes against ranked competition.
“It’s good to be back on the court competing,” says coach Toby Hansson said. “Overall, we can continue to develop some positive aspects. We are all looking forward to more good games tomorrow.”
Senior Lucas Engelhardt narrowly missed the Rebels’ second singles win of the day on Friday, taking their match against number 92 Mark Mandlik of Oklahoma to three sets and a third-set tiebreak before falling 6-4, 4-6. , 7-6.
Freshman Gordon Whitwell and sophomore Walker Stearns both fell short in their respective singles matches to open their fall seasons, with Whitwell falling to South Carolina’s Carter Morgan (7-5, 7-5) and Stearns losing his match to South Carolina’s Lucas da Silva (6). -1, 6-1).
In the doubles match to open the tournament, the Rebels found themselves competing in a pair of ranked matches, but failed to claim the team’s first doubles victory in the fall. The rebellious duo of Engelhardt and Lithén would eventually drop to number 35 of Auburn, Finn Murgett and Raul Dobai (8-5). Steans and Whitwell would also go down 8-4 in their ranked showdown against No. 41 Siem Woldeab and Texas’ unranked Eshan Talluri.
The Rebels will return to action Saturday morning with another doubles round, followed by two singles rounds in Nashville. Doubles will begin at 09:00 CT, with singles to follow immediately.
For more information on Ole Miss Men’s Tennis, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMTennison Facebook at OleMissMTennis and on Instagram at OleMissMTennisfollow Coach Hansson on Twitter at @TennisToby.
Dobai/No. 35 Murget (Auburn) def. Lithén/No. 56 Engelhardt (Ole Miss) 8-5
Taluri/No. 41 Woldeab (Texas) def. Stearns/Whitwell (Ole Miss) 8-4
John Hallquist Lithén (Ole Miss) def. No. 59 Klopper (Vanderbilt) 6-4, 6-2
At the. 92 Mandlik (Oklahoma) def. Lucas Engelhardt (Ole Miss) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6
Da Silva (South Carolina) def. Walker Stearns (Ole Miss) 6-1, 6-1
Morgan (South Carolina) def. Gordon Whitwell (Ole Miss) 7-5, 7-5
Lithén / No. 56 Engelhardt (Ole Miss) vs Plans Gonzalez/Azuma (Clemson) in Blue Draw
Stearns/Whitwell (Ole Miss) vs. Shokry/No. 17 McDaniel (Georgia Tech) in Green Draw
John Hallquist Lithén vs. William Grant (Florida) on Flight A
Lucas Engelhardt against No. 89 Jan Galka (Auburn) on Flight B
Walker Stearns against Mitchell Deames (Vanderbilt) on Flight C
Gordon Whitwell against Eshan Talluri (Texas) on Flight C