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Blue Raiders Drop Hard-Fought 4-1 Decision at Ole Miss

May 12, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The 41st-ranked Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders dropped the doubles point in a tiebreaker and lost two more tiebreakers in singles matches, as the homestanding and seventh-ranked Ole Miss Rebels took a 4-1 decision in the second round of NCAA Team Championships Sunday afternoon in Oxford, Miss., at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

The Rebels (19-5) advance to the Sweet Sixteen of the Team Championships that begin May 18 in College Station, Texas. The Blue Raiders (17-8) end the season after appearing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in school history.

Ole Miss got a victory at No. 2 doubles to start, where Alex Hartman and Claes Lindholm defeated 51st-ranked Daniel Klemetz and Kirk Jackson, 8-5. The 40th-ranked Blue Raider duo of Oliver Foreman and Robert Gustafsson led UM's 43rd-ranked tandem of Kristopher Stahlberg and Martin Selin, 7-2, at No. 1 doubles, but the match was halted when the Rebels won at No. 3 in a tiebreaker.

Catalin Gard and Patrick Chucri battled Trevor Short and Michael Staniak into a tiebreaker before prevailing 7-1 in the breaker, taking the doubles match, 9-8, and the doubles point.

But the Blue Raiders would not go away, opening singles with strong play. At No. 1, 14th-ranked Klemetz battled 23rd-rated Hartman and led 6-4, 3-4 when the match was stopped. Foreman split sets with 59th-ranked Stahlberg at No. 2, winning the first set, 6-1, before dropping the second, 6-2. Stahlberg led 2-1 in the final set when their match was also stopped.

Michael Staniak picked up the only point for the Blue Raiders, winning 6-3, 6-1, over Selin at No. 4. Gustafsson dropped a first-set tiebreaker at No. 3 to Gard before the Rebel won 6-0 in the second set.

Short lost a hard-fought match at No. 6 to Lindholm, 6-4, 6-3, and Jackson dropped a 6-4, 7-6 (1) decision to Paul Ciorascu for the final point for the Rebels.

"We played really well today, especially after Saturday's tough match against Alabama," Middle Tennessee head coach Dale Short said. "Ole Miss is an excellent team, but we really had them on the ropes and the match could have gone either way.

"Robert and Oliver played very well in doubles and probably would have won that match. They were just one game from finishing it off, and then we dropped the tiebreaker at three and lost the doubles point.

"But we rebounded well in singles, and all of the guys played very hard in singles. Robert and Kirk both lost tiebreakers, and those are always big turning points in a match. Oliver was really battling at No. 2 and that was a match that could have gone either way."

Klemetz will continue his season in the 2002 NCAA Championships in College Station, when the individual championships begin on May 22.

#7 OLE MISS 4, #41 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 1
SINGLES

1. (14) Daniel Klemetz (MT) vs. (23) Alex Hartman (UM), DNF
2. Oliver Foreman (MT) vs. (59) Kristopher Stahlberg (UM), DNF
3. (122) Catalin Gard (UM) def. Robert Gustafsson (MT), 7-6 (2), 6-0
4. Michael Staniak (MT) def. Martin Selin (UM), 6-3, 6-1
5. (117) Paul Ciorascu (UM) def. Kirk Jackson (MT), 6-4, 7-6 (1)
6. Claes Lindholm (UM) def. Trevor Short (MT), 6-4, 6-3

DOUBLES
1. (40) Foreman-Gustafsson (MT) vs. (43) Stahlberg-Selin (UM), DNF
2. Hartman-Lindholm (UM) def. (51) Klemetz-Jackson (MT), 8-5
3. Gard-Patrick Chucri (UM) def. Short-Staniak (MT), 9-8 (1)

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