Men's tennis finally beats UT after long day

The SEC match, scheduled to start at 2 p.m., had two rain delays outdoors, a couple of tornado siren delays after moving indoors, an extended break between doubles and singles to allow the weather to calm for safety purposes, and was completed just before 10 p.m. In the end, the Rebels were victorious.

The No. 10 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team's match against Tennessee featured several weather delays, including suspending play for tornados in the area, but the Rebels ultimately prevailed 4-0 at the Gillom Sports Center Friday night.

With the win, the Rebels improved to 17-3 overall and 7-2 in the SEC, while Tennessee dropped to 8-9 and 2-7 in league play. The Rebels, who will host Georgia Sunday at 1 p.m., have now won 31 straight regular season home matches dating back to April 6, 2003.

The match began outdoors at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center with head coach Billy Chadwick getting honored for winning his 500th career match on March 22. The two teams began the doubles before rain forced a stoppage of play.

After another rain delay, the match was moved indoors. Not long after beginning indoors, the tornado sirens went off. Following about another 20-minute delay, Ole Miss gained the opening point with wins at Nos. 3 (8-4) and 1 doubles (8-6). The Rebels improved to 76-3 when they win the doubles point dating back to the 2002 season.

Just before the start of singles (around 6 p.m.), play was suspended again until resuming at approximately 7:25 p.m.

Sophomore Erling Tveit made quick work of Tennessee's Bobby Cameron, 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 singles to make it 2-0, and then senior Juan Pablo Di Cesare increased the lead to 3-0 with a dominating 6-1, 6-1 performance at No. 3 singles.

Bram ten Berge was well on his way to winning at No. 4 singles, and Eric Claesson was in the third set of his match at No. 1 singles, when Robbye Poole finished off UT's Derek Stephens, 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 to clinch the victory.

"This was a long day, but a great victory," Chadwick said. "In our sport you have to make adjustments with weather. We were so pleased to see as many fans stay as did until 10. With Georgia coming in unbeaten, the guys are eager to face them. We've been looking forward to this match for awhile."

Tveit said it was a long day but well worth it when victory finally came for the Rebs.

"I had to warm up like five times, and I got a little tired," Tveit said. "Everybody left after doubles and went home to rest. It was nice to see so many people still out here tonight until 10 o'clock to help us."

"As far as tennis goes, we had to battle the weather today, too," Robbye Poole said, who was familiar with his opponent since they both attended the same tennis academy at the same time. "Overall I was pleased with how I played and how the team played today."

The first 100 fans to the match on Sunday will receive a cool sun visor compliments of Coca-Cola of Sardis.


#1 Tveit/Claesson (OM) def. Rogers/Hubble (UT) 8-6

#2 Cameron/Hensel (UT) def. ten Berge/Di Cesare (OM) 9-8(2)

#3 Poole/Klaeson (OM) def. Baxendine/Thornton (UT) 8-4


#1 Eric Claeson (OM) vs. Kaden Hensel (UT) 3-6, 7-5, 1-2

#2 Erling Tveit (OM) def. Bobby Cameron (UT) 6-3, 6-1

#3 Juan Pablo Di Cesare (OM) def. Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT) 6-1, 6-1

#4 Bram ten Berge (OM) vs. Dave Baxendine (UT) 7-5, 5-2, sus.

#5 Robbye Poole (OM) def. Derek Stephens (UT) 6-4, 6-3

#6 Jakob Klaeson (OM) vs. Ben Rogers (UT) DNP

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