Men's Tennis

Stanford Edged by Ole Miss

STANFORD, Calif. – No. 4 Stanford and No. 38 Ole Miss battled back-and-forth for nearly four hours in Sunday's NCAA Men's Tennis second-round match, with the Rebels pulling out a 4-3 victory to end the Cardinal's best season in 15 years.
Ole Miss surged out to a 2-0 lead with the doubles point and a win at No. 3 singles, before the Cardinal seized momentum with victories at No. 4, No. 1, and No. 5 to pull ahead 3-2. An Ole Miss win at No. 2 tied it at 3-3 with No. 6 deciding the match.
At No. 6, sophomore William Genesen took the first set (6-3) from Finn Reynolds of Ole Miss. The second set went to a tiebreaker, where Genesen went ahead, 6-3, eyeing match point. Reynolds fought back with five consecutive points for the Rebels to even the match at a set apiece and force the decisive third set. With the entire Taube Family Tennis Stadium crowd now glued to court six, Genesen jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of deuce victories. Reynolds rallied once again, however, with a pair of deuce victories to knot it at 2-2. He continued the momentum, winning six consecutive games in total to seal the win and send Ole Miss to the Round of 16.
The Genesen-Reynolds match was part of a tight battle between the two teams the entire day. It started with the doubles point, which came down to the third match.
Eric Fomba and Sameer Kumar broke a 2-2 tie with wins in four of the final five games to post a 6-3 victory at No. 2 doubles. It went back-and-forth at both No. 1 and No. 3, with the Rebels seizing momentum late. Ole Miss' No. 3 team of Reynolds and Fabian Fallert erased a 5-4 deficit with wins in the final three games to even the score at a match apiece. Everyone's attention turned to No. 1, with the coveted doubles point in the balance. Tom Fawcett and Michael Genender were locked in a tight one with the ITA's No. 22-ranked doubles team of Tim Sandkaulen and Grey Hamilton. The Rebels broke a 5-5 tie with consecutive wins to seal the point for Ole Miss, marking just the sixth time all season Stanford surrendered the doubles point.  
The Rebels pushed their advantage to 2-0 with a 7-5, 6-3 win by Filip Kraljevic over Kumar at No. 3.
The Ole Miss lead was short-lived, however. Fomba began the Cardinal run with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) victory at No. 4, posting his ninth consecutive victory.
Next, it was Stanford's two seniors that came through for the Cardinal as each posted his 20th win of the season. Fawcett, ranked ninth in the ITA, tied the team score at 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 45 Gustav Hansson at No. 1. Moments later, Wilczynski dispatched Fallert, 6-2, 6-3, to put the Cardinal ahead, 3-2.
Ole Miss tied it up at 3-3 as No. 33 Tim Sandkaulen defeated No. 83 Axel Geller, 7-6 (4), 6-3, to set up the dramatic finish at No. 6.
While concluding earlier than desired, Stanford finished the season 22-4 overall for its most wins and best overall record since the 2003 season (25-4). The Cardinal has been ranked in the top-five of the ITA poll for the past three months, peaking at No. 2 in February. Led by Fawcett and Wilczynski, Stanford earned its 11 the consecutive NCAA Championships berth.
Fawcett and Geller will head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, beginning May 23. Fawcett, who reached the semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Singles Championship, will compete once again in the singles tournament. He will pair up with Geller in the doubles tournament.  
No. 38 Ole Miss 4, No. 4 Stanford 3
1) No. 22 Tim Sandkaulen/Grey Hamilton (Ole Miss) d. Tom Fawcett/Michael Genender (STAN) 7-5
2) Eric Fomba/Sameer Kumar (STAN) d. No. 62 Zvonimir Babic/Filip Kraljevic (Ole Miss) 6-3
3) Fabian Fallert/Finn Reynolds (Ole Miss) d. Axel Geller/Timothy Sah (STAN) 7-5
Order of Finish: 2,3,1
1) No. 9 Tom Fawcett (STAN) d. No. 45 Gustav Hansson (Ole Miss) 6-4, 6-2
2) No. 33 Tim Sandkaulen (Ole Miss) d. No. 83 Axel Geller (STAN) 7-6 (4), 6-3
3) No. 107 Filip Kraljevic (Ole Miss) d. No. 102 Sameer Kumar (STAN) vs. 7-5, 6-3
4) Eric Fomba (STAN) d. Grey Hamilton (Ole Miss) 6-1, 7-6 (3)
5) David Wilczynski (STAN) d. Fabian Fallert (Ole Miss) 6-2, 6-3
6) Finn Reynolds (Ole Miss) d. William Genesen (STAN) 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2
Order of Finish: 3,4,1,5,2,6