Ole Miss and Vanderbilt took more than an hour to decide the doubles point, which the Rebels won. Then when it appeared the singles matches would roll by in a hurry, those slowed down, too.
Ole Miss, ranked 9th nationally, won the match 5-2 in Oxford, but getting the winning fourth point didn't come easy.
"This was another tough day in the SEC, just as we expected," said Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. "Vanderbilt played well, and my hat's off to them. But we were able to take care of business."
Vanderbilt posted an 8-5 win at No. 3 and then Ole Miss did the same at No. 1. The doubles point came down to Jakob Klaeson and Matthias Wellermann at No. 2, who faced VU's Evan Dufuax and Nathan Sachs. After being down an early break, the Reb duo battled back to force a tiebreaker. Dufuax and Sachs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the breaker, but Klaeson and Wellermann won seven of the next nine points to give the Rebels the 1-0 lead.
The Rebels improved to 93-4 when they win the doubles point dating back to the 2002 season.
The Rebs won the first set on all six singles courts. Kalle Norberg and Jonas Berg continued their impressive domination in singles, winning their matches to improve to a combined 25-0.
"I played well today," said Norberg, a freshman. "I am getting more and more used to playing matches outdoors. It was good to get a win today and also for the team to get a win."
Up 3-0, it would take a while for that fourth and deciding point to be won for the Rebels. Klaeson at No. 6 would finally come through after winning the first set 6-4 but falling 1-6 in set two. In the third set, Klaeson, playing with his parents from Sweden in attendance for the first time in his UM career, rolled to a 5-0 lead before winning 6-3 and clinching for Ole Miss.
"It was a strange match," Klaeson said. "Neither of us played well, and I couldn't get a rhythm. I was really pumped up, but he has the kind of game that grinds. I knew the other guys were struggling a little on the other courts, so that gave me a good boost knowing so much was on the line."
Ole Miss improved to 15-2 overall and 4-1 in SEC play, while Vandy dropped to 8-7 and 2-3.
The Rebels will host Kentucky Sunday at 1 p.m.
It's Kroger Family Cookout Day, and all fans will enjoy free hot dogs.
"Kentucky will be another tough match," Chadwick said. "It will be another SEC fight to the finish."
#1 Tveit/Claesson (OM) def. Preston/Cromydas (VU) 8-5
#2 Klaeson/Matthias Wellermann (OM) def. Dufuax/Sachs (VU) 9-8(5)
#3 Mack/Magarik (VU) def. Berg/Norberg 8-5
#1 Ryan Preston (VU) def. Erling Tveit (OM) 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3
#2 Nik Cromydas (VU) def. Eric Claesson (OM) 1-6, 6-3, 7-5
#3 Robbye Poole (OM) def. Evan Dufuax (VU) 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5
#4 Kalle Norberg (OM) def. Vijay Paul (VU) 6-2, 6-0
#5 Jonas Berg (OM) def. Nathan Sachs (VU) 6-2, 6-2
#6 Jakob Klaeson (OM) def. Andy Mack (VU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Rebs get past Vandy in men's tennis
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