Norberg clinches big tennis win at Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Kalle Norberg came up huge in perhaps his biggest match in his first season, rallying from a set down at No. 5 singles against Tennessee senior Kiril Tcherveniachki, to clinch a 4-3 win for Ole Miss Friday night at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center. The match was played indoors due to the cold temperatures.

With the overall score knotted at 3, Norberg had to dig deep after a tough call in the first set against Tcherveniachki. The two battled to a first set tiebreaker. On set point (5-6), Kalle hit what he thought was a winner down the line to even the score, but the ball was called out. The umpire did not overrule as Tennessee went up a set.

A week ago, Norberg was taken to three sets in his clinching win over LSU, but in that match, he won the first set. This time he would have to come from behind, unfamiliar territory for the Rebel, who has not lost all season.

Norberg won the second set 6-3 and the game was on. He raced out to a 4-1 lead in the third and never let up, winning 6-2 to clinch the victory and spoil the Volunteers senior night.

With the win, the Rebels (19-2, 8-1) remain a game ahead of LSU in the Western Division standings and two ahead of Tennessee (14-5, 6-3) in the overall standings. The Rebels now head to Athens, Ga., Sunday, to face No. 1 Georgia for a chance at the overall SEC Championship. Georgia defeated Mississippi State 7-0 to remain undefeated at 9-0.

"This was a huge win," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "Kalle took down a senior on his home court with a big crowd. We are proud of the guys for coming back after losing a close doubles point. Robbye played great in singles, and Eric came up big as well. The Swedes (Kalle and Jonas) just keep winning at the bottom. Now we go to Georgia with a chance to compete for the SEC Championship."

Tennessee took the early 1-0 lead by winning a tight doubles point. The Ole Miss team of Erling Tveit and Eric Claesson, ranked No. 30, knocked off UT's top team of Bobby Cameron and Kadel Hensel, ranked No. 25, 8-5. Tennessee gained a break at No. 2 to win 8-6.

The No. 3 match would come down to a tiebreaker. With Ole Miss struggling at that position recently, Chadwick decided to pair Robbye Poole and Jakob Klaeson up again. The duo went 11-3 last year. The Rebels were up in the match, but Tennessee forced a tiebreaker. Poole and Klaeson led it 6-4, before the Volunteers won three straight points to clinch the point.

Poole rebounded quickly, taking down Ben Rogers 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles to put the Rebels on the board.

Senior Eric Claesson had another big win on the night, powering past 33rd-ranked Bobby Cameron, 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 singles to put his team on top 2-1. Claesson has won two key matches in his last three outings.

Tennessee squared the match when Kaden Hensel, ranked No. 35, upset Erling Tveit, ranked No. 19, 6-4, 6-2 on court one.

As Chadwick noted, the Swedes just keep winning at the bottom. One of those, sophomore Jonas Berg, had to wait awhile to get on court, but he wasted little time on it. He came in undefeated, and kept his perfect record intact by downing Volunteer Adam Hubble 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 to put the Rebels back on top 3-2.

Tennessee answered when Davey Sandgren held off Rebel Matthias Wellermann in three sets at No. 3. Wellermann won a first set tiebreaker, but lost one in the second set to force the deciding frame. It was close as well, but Sandgren prevailed 6-4, setting up Norberg's clinching match.

Ole Miss has now won six of the last seven meetings with the Vols and two straight 4-3 matches in Knoxville.


#1 Tveit/Claesson (OM) def. Cameron/Hensel (UT) 8-5

#2 Hubble/Rogers (UT) def. Wellermann/Berg (OM) 8-6

#3 Bo Hardegree/Tcherveniachki (UT) def. Poole/Klaeson (OM) 9-8(6)


#1 Kaden Hensel (UT) def. Erling Tveit (OM) 6-4, 6-2

#2 Eric Claesson (OM) def. Bobby Cameron (UT) 6-2, 6-0

#3 Davey Sandgren (UT) def. Matthias Wellermann (OM)

#4 Robbye Poole (OM) def. Ben Rogers (UT) 6-1, 6-2

#5 Kalle Norberg (OM) def. Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT) 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2

#6 Jonas Berg (OM) def. Adam Hubble (UT) 6-2, 6-3

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