Rebs advance in Oxford Tennis Regional

The Ole Miss men's tennis team (23-4) calmly and collectively took care of business Friday, just as they have been doing all year, this time in the first round of the NCAA Championships at the Palmer-Salloum Tennis Center.

The No. 7 seeded netters defeated the Jacksonville State Gamecocks by a score of 4-0, and in doing so will take on South Alabama, who defeated Minnesota earlier in the afternoon, in the second round. The Rebs and Jaguars play at 1 p.m. Saturday.

For the Rebels, it was a great way to kick off their 14th consecutive appearance in the postseason tournament, and 7th consecutive year in which they have hosted a regional in Oxford.

"I feel like after today's match, we are a little bit more prepared for tomorrow," said head coach Billy Chadwick after the win.

Just as it has always been for the Rebels, winning the doubles point was big. Since the 2002 campaign, Chadwick's squad is an impressive 99-4 when they win the opening point. However, when they fail to win the doubles point, it tends to leave the door open for their opponents as they are only 28-26.

The Rebel duo of Erling Tveit and Eric Claesson at No. 1 doubles, and Matthias Wellermann and Jonas Berg at No. 2, took care of business as both teams defeated their Jacksonville State opponents 8-2.

After the doubles point was secure, it wouldn't be long before the Rebels punched their ticket to the second round.

Robbye Poole, who has been struggling against tough opponents his last three times out, gave a solid performance and showed why he is a member of the All-Southeastern Conference's first team.

The junior defeated Jacksonville State's Eduardo Saratt 6-0, 6-0. Poole's win was even more impressive as Saratt was on JSU's longest singles winning streak in the school's history at 17 games.

"It was really good for me to get a win, because I hadn't won a match in my last three times out. So I needed to get a singles win, especially going into tomorrow," Poole said. "I felt I let the team down (against Georgia in the SEC Championship) because they were depending on my point a lot, so I've been working hard this past week so that won't happen again."

Poole was bumped up from his usual No. 4 singles spot to No. 3 as Wellermann was unable to participate in singles play due to a sore back.

"I'm ready to play three, I'm ready to play four, either way I just have to be ready to play," said Poole about his position in the lineup. "It doesn't matter what number it is."

With Wellermann out, Rebel junior Jakob Klaeson was inserted into the lineup at No. 6 singles, and did not disappoint. He gave Ole Miss a 3-0 lead in the match when he made quick work of Joey Unkenholz 6-2, 6-1.

"I'm just happy to be able to get one more point for the Rebs," said Klaeson.

He also felt that it was very important for himself and his teammates to start the tournament off on the right note.

"When you play two days in a row, you can't be sloppy the first day because it is hard to pick it up the second day," Klaesson said.

Jonas Berg clinched the 4-0 match victory as he took down Chris Duke 6-1, 6-3 at No. 4 singles.

Chadwick and his team don't have much time to rest as they turn around and take on South Alabama tomorrow.

"I watched every hit of the ball today and they are a very talented team. The guys know what we're up against," said Chadwick of his team's upcoming opponent. "The only way we are going to be South Alabama is if we outfight them."

Saturday's match begins at 1 p.m. at the Palmer-Salloum Tennis Center.

The results of the UM-JSU match are as follows


#1 Tveit/Claesson (OM) def. Robertson/Amores(JSU) 8-2

#2 Wellermann/Berg (OM) def. Duke/Ukenholz (JSU) 8-2

#3 Poole/Klaeson (OM) vs. Bachino/Saratt (JSU) 5-4 sus.


#1 Erling Tveit (OM) vs. Scott Robertson (JSU) 6-1, 1-2 sus.

#2 Eric Claesson (OM) vs. Bernado Bachino (JSU) 6-2, 4-3 sus.

#3 Robbye Poole (OM) def. Eduardo Saratt (JSU) 6-0, 6-0

#4 Jonas Berg (OM) def. Chris Duke (JSU) 6-1, 6-3

#5 Kalle Norberg (OM) vs. Andres Amores (JSU) 6-4, 2-1 sus.

#6 Jakob Klaeson (OM) def. Joey Unkenholz (JSU) 6-2, 6-1

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