Rebs beat Miss. State for 20th straight time

JACKSON - For the second straight match, the Ole Miss men's tennis team played without its top player, but it didn't matter as the fifth-ranked Rebels shut out arch-rival Mississippi State 4-0 here Thursday at the River Hills Tennis Club to win their ninth straight Mississippi Cup.

In addition to winning their ninth straight cup, the Rebels also have posted six consecutive shutouts in this annual event and have now won 20 in a row in the overall series, dating back to the 1999 Mississippi Cup.

The packed house of mostly Rebel fans, roared their approval as Ole Miss took the early 1-0 lead with 8-4 wins at Nos. 3 and 2 doubles in that order.

With Tveit out of the lineup, everybody moved up a spot in singles. Senior Robbye Poole answered the call at No. 2 singles, defeating 14th-ranked Philippe Frayssinoux in straight sets to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead. Poole trailed 4-2 in the first set but never lost another game on his way to a 6-4, 6-0 victory, as his mom watched from the bleachers on court three.

"It was great, because I have not been playing my best tennis lately," said Poole after his victory. To beat a guy like Frayssinoux gives me a lot of confidence going into Seattle next week. When she's (mom) here, I always get a little nervous, because I want to play well in front of her. It's good to get a win, because she doesn't get to see me play that often."

Junior Bram ten Berge made it 3-0 Ole Miss, winning a second-set tiebreaker to finish off State's Ryan Farlow at No.3 singles. After ten Berge took the first set (6-3), the two battled to a tiebreaker in the second set, which ten Berge dominated 7-2.

The Rebels are a deep team, and it didn't long for the bottom of the lineup to get going. Junior Jonas Berg dominated Bulldog Artem Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 singles to clinch the Rebel victory.

"The guys fought hard top to bottom," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "We learned from when we played Ohio State that the bottom guys had to be ready to go," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "That to me was the difference in the match. We had a lot of confidence that if we needed to win those bottom three, they were ready to step up and play. That gives confidence to our one, two and three players.

"Robbye beating the No. 14 player in the country in front of his mom was a big deal. He played real well. He's capable of playing that way, and it's great to see him do it when it really counts. This win is going to help us a lot going into the National Team Indoor."

When the match was decided, senior Matthias Wellermann and MSU's Ivan Bjelica were locked in a third set tiebreaker at No. 1, while sophomore Kalle Norberg led Max Genuini 5-1 in the first set at No. 5.

The Rebels will find out Friday who their first-round opponent will be in the upcoming USTA/ITA National Team Indoor, which takes place Feb. 15-18 in Seattle.

#5 Ole Miss 4

#56 Mississippi State 0


1. Wellermann/ten Berge (OM) vs. Bjelica/Frayssinoux (MSU) 5-7, sus.

2. Poole/Klaeson (OM) def. Farlow/Tanner Stump (MSU) 8-4

3. Berg/Norberg (OM) def. Kuznetsov/Necajevs (MSU) 8-4


1. Matthias Wellermann (OM) vs. Ivan Bjelica (MSU) 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-6, sus.

2. Robbye Poole (OM) def. Philippe Frayssinoux (MSU) 6-4, 6-0

3. Bram ten Berge (OM) def. Ryan Farlow (MSU) 6-3, 7-6(2)

4. Jonas Berg (OM) def. Artem Kuznetsov (MSU) 6-3, 6-0

5. Kalle Norberg (OM) vs. Max Genuini (MSU) 5-1, sus.

6. Jakob Klaeson (OM) vs. Antonio Lasire (MSU) DNP

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