Men's tennis hosts 2 big matches this weekend

The Ole Miss men's tennis team is glad to be back home after a long layoff. They're hoping two big Southeastern Conference matches against Vanderbilt and Kentucky this weekend keep them on course for big things this season.

Friday's match against the Commodores is at 2 p.m. The first 50 fans at the match will receive a free t-shirt compliments of the Oxford T-shirt Company.

On Sunday the Rebels will host Kentucky at 1 p.m. for "Kroger Family Cookout Day." All fans in attendance will enjoy free hot dogs right off the grill.

Ole Miss (14-2 overall, 3-1 in the SEC) comes into the third weekend of SEC play hoping to maintain its perfect home record this season and keep pace in the conference race. The Rebels have won 40 of their last 41 regular season home matches and are 8-0 this season in Oxford, including 2-0 in league play.

Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick said as hard as it is to believe, this weekend is the next to last home weekend of the regular tennis season.

"This weekend and next weekend are it," he said, noting that LSU and Arkansas are in Oxford on March 30 and April 1 respectively. "We must take advantage of these next four matches at home, and we hope to have a large crowd out to support us. The home crowd has always been helpful to us, and we need them again."

Erling Tveit, ranked No. 15 in the nation, leads the team with an 11-3 record at No. 1 singles. Teammate Robbye Poole has won 12 of his last 14 matches, while Kalle Norberg and Jonas Berg have combined for a 23-0 dual match record.

Vanderbilt comes into Friday's match at 8-6 overall and 2-2 in SEC play. The Commodores return their entire lineup from last year and are led by Ryan Preston, ranked No. 63 in the nation with a 4-4 record at No. 1 singles.

Ole Miss has won the last two meetings with Vanderbilt by a combined score of 12-2. The Rebels defeated the Commodores 6-1 last year in Nashville. In 2005, the Rebels won 6-1 in Oxford.

Kentucky enters the third weekend of SEC play at 10-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference. The Wildcats are led by 88th-ranked Bruno Agostinelli who is 16-10 overall and 8-5 at No. 1 singles.

In their last six meetings against Kentucky, the Rebels have outscored the Wildcats 32-6. Ole Miss won last year's meeting 6-1 in Lexington. In 2005, the Rebels defeated Kentucky 6-1 in Oxford.

"Vanderbilt and Kentucky are both very good," Chadwick said. "They are quality SEC teams as always. The bottom line is that every match in the SEC is big, and it is a battle every time out. We'll once again have to be at our best to beat them. If we're not, both of them can beat us. That's the way it is in the SEC."

Admission to both matches is free, and live scoring can be accessed at

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