TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the second-consecutive year, MSU senior Malte Stropp has earned the honor of being one of the best in the ITA’s Southern Region, as the 40th-ranked player in the nation upset Ole Miss’ No. 7 Nik Scholtz to claim the 2013 USTA/ITA Southern Region singles title Monday.
Along with Jordan Angus, Stropp also claimed 2012 USTA/ITA Southern Region doubles championship.
Stropp, the No. 3 seed this weekend, found himself down 4-1 in the first set to Scholtz, the tourney’s top-seeded player. However, Stropp fought back to put the match back on serve, down 5-4 to Scholtz, eventually pushing the first set to a tiebreaker. From there, MSU’s veteran leader took the tiebreaker and opening set 7-6(4), and carried that momentum to a dominate second set to take the match and the title 7-6(4), 6-2.
With the win at this weekend’s ITA Regional event, Stropp advances to the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y., Nov. 7-10. He and Angus reached the doubles quarterfinals there last November.
“I came to this tournament without any wins so far this fall, so I would say my confidence was not very high,” Stropp said. “And I actually did not feel very good on the court during the first couple of matches, but I somehow found a way to win and all of a sudden I started playing better and better. Now I’m just happy that I can go back to the National Indoors in New York, which was my goal this fall.”
“This tournament really showed how mental this game really is,” sixth-year head coach Per Nilsson said. “Malte (Stropp) was really impressive mentally throughout the tournament without feeling good about his game. He’s a great example for our team to learn from.”
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MSU Results At The 2013 USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships
October 14, 2013 – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Singles – Main Draw
Finals – No. 40 Malte Stropp (MSU)  def. No. 7 Nik Scholtz (Ole Miss)  7-6(4), 6-2.
Numbers preceding names are current national rankings; tournament seedings in brackets