Auburn University defeats Ole Miss in the SEC opener

The win improves Auburn Tigers record to 8–4

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Auburn University defeats Ole Miss in the SEC opener
© Noelle Iglesias / Auburn Tigers

Auburn University men's tennis team beat Ole Miss 4-1, during their SEC opener Friday afternoon, in Oxford, Mississippi. The win improves Auburn's record to 8–4 while the loss ties the Rebels' record to 5–5.

The Tigers won their first doubles point in four matches and carried the momentum into singles as well. Tyler Stice and Will Nolan earned their third straight doubles match on court three with a score of 6-2. Stice and Nolan took a 2-1 lead and cruised to victory over Carson Baker and John Hallquist Lithen. With the game tied at three, Raul Dobai and Finn Murgett won the next three games against Nikola Slavic and Lukas Engelhardt to pick up the double point for the Tigers.

In singles, Auburn and Ole Miss split the opening sets. Hallquist Lithen then evened the team's score with a straight set victory over Dobai. The Tigers responded with a straight sets victory, as Billy Blaydes won in dominant fashion over Noah Schlagenhauf.

Auburn's 2-1 lead held until Nicholas Heng came back in the third set to force a tiebreaker after being down 4-2 in the set. Heng won the tiebreaker 7-2 and brought the Tigers to within a singles victory of a team victory.

Alejandro Moreno, who had just lost a competitive second set in a tie-break, to win his match on court three against Isac Stromberg 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-4 and clinch the team victory for the Tigers.

Auburn coach Bobby Reynolds said, analyzing the victory: "The guys came with a mission to right the ship on the doubles court. We practiced all week holding serve and did a great job of doing it in doubles. They fought to the end in singles and being able to stretch the matches into the third set helped build momentum into the match. I'm happy to walk away from Oxford with a win to start our SEC schedule."

Men's doubles:

1. Raul Dobai/Finn Murgett (AUB) def. Nikola Slavic/Lukas Engelhardt (OM) 6-3

2. Isac Stromberg/Noah Schlagenhauf (OM) vs. Billy Blaydes/Alejandro Moreno (AUB) 3-5, unfinished

3. Tyler Stice/Will Nolan (AUB) def. Carson Baker/J. Hallquist Lithen (OM) 6-2

Men's singles:

1. Nikola Slavic (OM) vs. #44 Tyler Stice (AUB) 6-3, 5-7, 3-5, unfinished

2. J. Hallquist Lithen (OM) def. Raúl Dobai (AUB) 6-2, 6-3

3. Alejandro Moreno (AUB) def. Isac Stromberg (OM) 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4

4. Billy Blaydes (AUB) def. Noah Schlagenhauf (OM) 6-3, 6-3

5. Nicholas Heng (AUB) def. Lukas Engelhardt (OM) 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)

6. Carson Baker (OM) vs. Will Nolan (AUB) 5-7, 6-4, 4-2, unfinished

Auburn University