Top 5 tennis Rebs host again

Ole Miss men's tennis held its annual get-together with the fans Tuesday afternoon to see what seed the Rebels are for the NCAA Tournament and who will be coming to the Oxford Regional. It was already a done deal that they were in and hosting.

The Rebels are the No. 5 national seed and will host Vanderbilt, Indiana, and Marist in the Oxford Regional at the Palmer-Salloum Tennis Center on May 10-11.

The top-seeded Rebels will play fourth-seeded Marist at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 10, while the second-seeded Commodores and third-seeded Hoosiers will meet at 2 p.m. that day.

The championship match is set for 12 noon Sunday, May 11.

"We've got a great Regional shaping up," said Chadwick, whose team is hosting for the eighth straight year. "We know Vanderbilt very well, and while I don't know a lot about Indiana yet, I know they're a tough team coming in here as the three seed. Marist won their conference (MAAC) and are a four seed. So we're excited about hosting another great Regional."

Chadwick said he felt sure the Rebels would be among the top 5 seeds. He just wasn't sure where.

"I felt like we would go in as either the third, fourth, or fifth seed," Chadwick said. "Basically the fourth and fifth seed mean the same thing. It does make a difference if you're No. 3, because it puts you on the other side of the draw. But either way is fine with us. We've been playing tough teams all year."

The Rebels played No. 1 national seed Virginia to the wire in an earlier match this season. Rebel Erling Tveit, at No. 1 singles, was serving for the match but couldn't pull out that game. So he lost it and the Rebels weren't able to win that match. The Cavaliers have not lost all season.

The Rebels' loss to No. 4 national seed Georgia was early in conference play in Athens. Ole Miss also lost to No. 2 national seed Ohio State in Oxford early this season.

The UCLA Bruins are the No. 3 national seed. Ole Miss has not played them this season.

Ole Miss beat Vanderbilt 6-1 in Nashville this regular season.

"The thing that helps us and we feel good about is that our guys proved their pretty good at getting revenge," he said, referring to his squad finishing second in the overall SEC race to Georgia but then claiming the SEC Tournament title a week and a half ago. "They took down the Florida team (in the SEC tourney finals) that had beaten us at home. So we're looking at it this way. If we happen to advance far enough, then we're looking at Georgia again and either Virginia or Ohio State again. So we say bring ‘em on."

Chadwick says the confidence of his team is at its highest level all season.

"One important thing is that if you have that confidence this time of year, then it helps every day's practice," said Chadwick, whose program is looking for its first national title, having finished second in 1995 to national champion Stanford for its best-ever finish. "These guys have been working really hard. They've been concentrating on conditioning. With exams coming up, we're having to work our practices around those. But these guys will be ready."

This time of the year, Chadwick's teams always are. And their Selection Show get-together, this year at The Library just off The Square, has been an annual special event for a long time now.

"We appreciate Jon Desler (former UM football player and owner of The Library) hosting us and also our many fans for being here today," Chadwick told the crowd of a couple hundred. "The SEC Champion Ole Miss tennis team looks forward to seeing you at the Regional."


OM Spirit Top Stories