Tigers Drop Close Doubles Matches, Fall to No. 10 Ole Miss
March 3, 2009
OXFORD, Miss. - The Memphis men's tennis team had several opportunities on Tuesday agaist the No. 10 Ole Miss Rebels, but ultimately fell, 7-0, at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Miss. Memphis's record drops to 6-5 on the season. The Ole Miss Rebels improve 8-2 on the year. The squad's only two losses on the season came at the hands of No. 10 Baylor and No. 4 USC. With six wins in an eleven game span, continue to post one of their best records over the last ten years. All five of the Tigers' losses have come to opponents ranked among the top 50 teams in the nation.
"It was a tough match today, but Ole Miss has been one of the best program's in the country during the last 10 years," said Memphis head coach Paul Goebel. "Our doubles was a lot better today than it has been, which is encouraging. We are hoping to use the experience we have had against top SEC programs over the past few weeks and hope that the matches have improved our play as a team."
In doubles, the Tigers had upset on their minds early as they kept their opponents from Ole Miss at bay to begin the afternoon in Northern Mississippi. At No. 1 doubles, the tandem of Jorge Vazquez and Spencer Heflin lept out to an early 3-2 lead over the nation's fifth-ranked doubles pair of Bram ten Berge and Jonas Berg.
The Ole Miss duo went on to win five of the next six games before Vazquez and Heflin rallied to put the match at arms length down six games to seven games. Ten Berge and Berg staved off the upset attempt by the pair of U of M Tigers, winning the match and securing the double's point for Ole Miss, 8-6. Ten Berge and Berg hold a 2009 spring mark of 7-5. Three of the five losses for the pair of Ole Miss netter have come to the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 doubles tandems. Heflin and Vazquez fall to 2-4 on the season.
At No. 2 doubles, the Rebel partnership of Devin Britton and Tucker Vorster and the Memphis duo of Jordan Smith and Benedikt Fischer played at a back-and-forth pace early on Tuesday in Oxford. Britton and Vorster looked poised to take the match with a 7-5 lead over Smith and Fischer, but the Tigers' took the next game to make it a 7-6 contest. Britton and Vorster won the final game to take the match, 8-6. Britton and Vorster improve to 2-1 on the season. The pair just began playing together on Feb. 26 against TCU. In their second match of the season they defeated the No. 2 team for the Baylor Bears, currently ranked 10th in the country. Smith and Fischer's record drops to 6-6 on the year.
At the No. 3 spot, the Memphis tandem of Michael Hayes and Charlie Ramsay, playing doubles for the first time together in competive play, faced a 2-1 deficit early in the match to Otto Sauer and Kalle Norberg before winning three of the next four games to go ahead 4-3. Hayes and Ramsay moved the advantage to 5-4, before Norberg and Sauer came back to win the next three games and go ahead, 7-5. Much like their teammates at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, Ramsay and Hayes followed suit and closed the gap to 7-6. In much the fashion of the matches at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, Sauer and Norberg fended off the Memphis threat and secured the victory, 8-6. Tuesday's match was the first of the season for the pairing of Sauer and Norberg. They improve to 1-0 on the year. Hayes and Ramsay drop to 0-1 on the year.
Building on the momentum gained from impressive showings in doubles but hoping for a different outcome, the University of Memphis singles players took the first game in five of six singles matches. At No. 1 singles, 32nd-ranked Britton from Ole Miss rallied from a 4-3 deficit to the 73rd-ranked Vazquez, to take the first set, 6-4. Britton took a 3-2 lead over Vazquez and built on the lead winning the final three games to take the set and the match. Britton moves to 9-4 with Tuesday's win. The freshman from Jackson, Miss., has now secured victories over five ranked singles players, including three ranked in the Top-40. Vazquez falls to 8-4 on the season. The reigning C-USA Player of the Week has suffered three losses to ranked players this season.
In the No. 2 slot, Nasemann, a sophomore hailing from Wuppertahl, Germany took the 1-0 lead against 52nd-ranked Norberg. Norberg took the first set, 6-2. Norberg lept out to a 3-2 advantage over Nasemann in the second set. The Ole Miss player would win the set and match, 6-2, 6-2. Norberg is 7-1 on the season. He has posted wins over three players ranked in the Top-125 per the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Nasemann falls to 5-8 in singles this season. Nasemann finished last season with a dual mark of 8-8.
At No. 3 singles, Ramsay, a junior from Chattanooga, Tenn., took a 4-3 lead over 97th-ranked ten Berge, before the Ole Miss netter came back to win the final three games of the first set. Ten Berge took the final set, 6-2. Ramsay falls to 4-7 in singles so far this year. His opponent, ten Berge, improves to 6-4 on the year. Ten Berge beat No. 94 Antoine Benneteau from Florida State on Feb. 15.
At the No. 4 spot, the U of M's Smith overcame an early 3-2 deficit after winning the first game, to go ahead of Marcel Thiemann, 4-3. Thiemann went on to win the final three games to take the set, 6-3. Thiemann took an early advantage at 4-1 and built on it, winning the second set and the match. Thiemann improves to 2-2 on the season. Smith, a sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., falls to 2-4 in singles this season.
At No. 5 singles, Fischer, the Tigers' senior captain from Dusseldorf, Germany, took a 3-2 lead after winning the first game over Chris Thiemann. Thiemann took the next four games from the Memphis netter, winning the first set, 6-3. Fischer fell in the second set, 6-2. With the loss Fischer falls to 5-8 on the year. Thiemann improves to 4-4 on the season.
At No. 6 singles, Sauer took down Michael Gaerthoeffner, 6-1, in the first set of singles play. The Ole Miss netter went on to a 6-0 victory in the second set to take the match. Sauer has posted a 9-4 record so far this year in singles play. Gaerthoeffner, a native of Rheine, Germany, falls to 4-6 on the year with the loss. The Tigers will travel to Arizona for Spring Break with matches against Arizona and Cal Poly.