May 15, 2010

Courtesy of

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Ole Miss men's tennis team survived a six hour weather delay to defeat TCU 4-1 and advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships here at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center Saturday.

The match was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., on Friday, but heavy rain forced both matches to be delayed until around 9 p.m. Texas A&M handled Prairie View A&M 4-0. The Rebels and Aggies will meet in the second round Saturday at 3 p.m. for the right to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in Athens, Ga., next week.

Ole Miss improved to 19-7 with the win, while TCU's season came to an end at 12-13. The Rebels are one victory away from their 12th 20-win campaign thanks in no small part to the Thiemann twins and junior Tucker Vorster.

The Rebels won the doubles point to take the early 1-0 lead. After the Rebels dropped the No. 3 match, Tucker Vorster and Jonas Lutjen finished off a convincing 8-1 win over TCU's Slah Mbarek and Cameron Nash 8-1 at No. 2 for their eighth straight. That left Marcel and Chris Thiemann, ranked No. 20 in the nation, facing 42nd-ranked Emanuel Brighui and Christopher Price, for the point. The Thiemann brothers won 8-4 to win their 20th dual match of the season.

Vorster put the Rebels ahead 2-0 with a strong 6-2, 6-3 win over Slah Mbarek at No. 2 singles. Moments later, Chris Thiemann gave Ole Miss a 3-0 advantage as he finished off Marius Cirstea 7-5, 6-3 at No. 4 singles.

The Rebels may have led 3-0 at this point, but TCU would not go away quietly. The Frogs got on the board when Zach Nichols outlasted Jonas Lutjen at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5. Lutjen served for the match at 5-4 in the third, but he lost the next three games.

The remaining three matches were all close with two of them in third sets. All eyes focused on the No. 1 match, where Marcel Thiemann was locked in a tight battle with TCU's Emanuel Brighui. Thiemann lost the first set in a tiebreaker, but the All-SEC first team selection rallied to win the second in a tiebreaker. He would go on to win the third 6-2 to clinch the victory for the Rebels.

The Rebels are hoping they can duplicate last year's results against Texas A&M in the round of 16, when they got by the Aggies 4-2, in College Station, to reach the Elite Eight. This time however, a trip to Athens, Ga., is on the line. Live video and scoring will be available by going to and clicking on the link in the Rebel Hub.

1. Thiemann/Thiemann (OM) def. Brighui/Price (TCU) 8-4
2. Vorster/Lutjen (OM) def. Mbarek/Nash (TCU) 8-1
3. Chappell/Nichols (TCU) def. Forberg Skogeng/Fowler (OM) 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

1. Marcel Thiemann (OM) def. Emanuel Brighui (TCU) 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-2
2. Tucker Vorster (OM) def. Slah Mbarek (TCU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Zach Nichols (TCU) def. Jonas Lutjen (OM) 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5
4. Chris Thiemann (OM) def. Marius Cirstea (TCU) 7-5, 6-3
5. Adrian Forberg Skogeng (OM) vs. Christopher Price (TCU) 6-7, 2-2
6. Harry Fowler (OM) vs. Paul Chappell (TCU) 6-4, 3-6, 1-1
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 3, 1