Rebels Head to Los Angeles for ITA Kick-Off Weekend 

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Ole Miss men’s tennis team begins its second weekend of dual match action, heading to Los Angeles for the ITA Kick-Off, held at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, beginning Friday at 1 p.m. CT against San Diego.

The Rebels will then face either No. 7 UCLA or Indiana on Saturday. Friday’s results will determine whether Ole Miss faces off 5 p.m. in the championship, or 9 p.m. in the consolation.

The ITA Kick-Off Weekend takes place at 24 different Division I tennis facilities across the country, with 60 teams competing for both men’s and women’s squads.

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Each side hosts 15 regionals, with four teams competing in each regional. The winners of this single-elimination event advance to the Division I National Team Indoor Championships, held in February, held in Chicago for the men and Seattle for the women.


The Rebels moved into the win column with identical 4-0 decisions over visiting North Alabama. Sophomore Cotter Wilson led the charge, playing dynamically and surrendering just one game across 25. Rookie Jan Soren Hain and junior Tim Sandkaulen each picked up two singles victories on the day.


San Diego comes into the weekend with a 1-0 record on the young season, downing Utah State 5-2. In singles, sophomore August Holmgren carries a No. 83 ranking and junior Gui Osorio comes in at 117. Holmgren teams up with partner Joel Gamerov for a No. 12 boast in doubles. San Diego competed in its eighth straight NCAA Tournament last season, falling 4-0 in the second round to none other than UCLA. Friday will be the second-ever contest between Ole Miss and the Toreros.  The two teams first met at the Blue-Gray Classic in 1990, with San Diego triumphing 6-3.


The top seed on the weekend, UCLA will begin its dual match season facing Indiana Friday. While they do not boast any individually ranked players, UCLA is tabbed at No. 7 in the latest Oracle ITA Rankings. The Rebels have faced off against the Bruins nine times in program history, with UCLA holding a 7-2 advantage. The Bruins advanced all the way to the semifinals a year ago, falling 4-1 to Ohio State, the eventual National Runner-Ups.


Indiana also enters the weekend on a 2-1 clip, sweeping both Ball State and Toledo before falling 4-0 to Dartmouth. The Hoosiers support two ranked players on their roster in juniors No. Bennett Crane (No. 96) and Zac Brodney (No. 110). Indiana did not compete in the NCAA Tournament last season, falling in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.  If the two face off, it would mark the third meeting between the two squads. The Rebels first defeated Indiana in 2000, winning 4-2, and then again by a 5-0 decision in 2010, both in Oxford.


by Caitie Smith

Ole Miss  Athletics