Rebs roll over Red Foxes in NCAA tennis

It had been nearly two months since Bram ten Berge had taken the court for Ole Miss. It didn't look like it Saturday as the junior was the first Rebel to win his singles match. Ole Miss advanced to round two of the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 win over Marist in Oxford.

"First match back for me in like seven weeks, but I felt like I was ready to go," said ten Berge, who had broken a bone in his right foot in a match in Oxford vs. Florida March 21. "The first couple of games, you're always a little nervous. For the team it had been like three weeks. But for me it had been more than twice that long. Once I got that first break, I got rolling a bit."

That he did. In an hour, ten Berge had rolled past Red Fox Antonio Oliver 6-1, 6-0.

"It was extremely important for Bram to be able to play today," said Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. "It was a tough call, because do you play Bram or do you play Jakob Klaeson who had won eight matches in a row? Do we play him at No. 2 doubles? We're undefeated at No. 2 doubles. So we discussed with the team that if we're going to make a run, we've got to have everybody ready to play. We felt it was essential that Bram play today. And it was great that he was one of the ones that closed it out."

Chadwick, whose team hadn't played a match since winning the SEC Tournament on April 20, said the Rebels were a bit tentative initially against the Oxford Regional's fourth seed.

"You could tell we were a little nervous at first," Chadwick said. "We hadn't played in three weeks. But we accomplished a lot today in getting this one behind us. You find in every match that you get pushed in different ways. And that was the case today."

But not much. Wellerman and ten Berge's match at No. 2 doubles was suspended at 6-6 after the duo of Tucker Vorster and Klaeson won at No. 3 singles (8-2) and the team of Erling Tveit and Jonas Berg advanced by winning at No. 1 (8-1).

After ten Berge claimed victory at No. 6 singles, Wellerman beat Marcus van Nordheim 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Robbye Poole closed out the match for Ole Miss in perfect fashion, winning 6-0, 6-0 over Nicolas Pisecky at No. 3.

"I had a good week of preparation," said Poole, a senior. "This was a good win for us and good to be able to get off the court as quickly as possible."

The Rebels await the winner of Vanderbilt-Indiana, which is being played this afternoon. Ole Miss and either the Commodores or Hoosiers will meet at 12 noon Sunday.

"It will be a very, very competitive match," Chadwick said. "We know a lot about Vanderbilt and that they are really good. And we know Indiana is a strong team that has already beaten a top 15 team in Michigan. They can play. So we'll have to be ready for a really tough match tomorrow."

Ole Miss defeated Vanderbilt 6-1 in Nashville during the regular season. Ole Miss and Indiana have not played this season.


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