May 15, 2010

Courtesy of OleMissSports.com

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 www.OleMissSports.com and clicking on the link in the Rebel Hub.

DOUBLES
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

SINGLES
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