Prior to this season, Ole Miss tennis coach Bill Chadwick thought that UCLA looked like the cream of the NCAA crop heading into the year.
Unfortunately, Chadwick might have been right.
Ole Miss, ranked No. 2 in the country and riding a 21-match winning streak, watched its season come to an end Sunday at the NCAA Quarterfinals thanks to a 4-3 decision at the hands of the Bruins.
“We felt like before the season started, and most of the coaches would agree, that UCLA is the most talented team in the country, and they showed that today,” Chadwick said. “They are very strong from top to bottom. It came down to the last match, and my hats off to all the players. It was a great college match.”
On the heels on an SEC Championship, the Rebels had marched to the round of eight with victories over Alcorn State, LSU and Texas Aamp&M before Sunday’s loss.
On Sunday, the Rebels and Bruins battled to a 3-3 stalemate through six matches, leaving just a pair of freshmen to decide which team would advance to the Final Four.
UCLA’s Nick Meister answered the call, outlasting Ole Miss freshman Marcel Theimann 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to help the Bruins advance.
For Ole Miss, Jonas Berg, Devin Britton and Kalle Norberg all won in singles play, with the Bruins taking the doubles point.
UCLA (21-4) now moves onto the national semifinals against No. 3 Ohio State.
The loss ends a spectacluar season for the Rebels, who earned a school-record 27 wins and an eighth-straight SEC West title.
NEMS Daily Journal