Opening Victory

Billy Chadwick wanted his 9th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels to get an indoor home match under their belts before they host the National Team Indoor first round match Saturday. They did that Thursday with a 7-0 win against Troy.

The Rebels basically cruised through the four-hour match at the Gillom Sports Center as the 2009 spring season got underway. The Rebels host Kentucky Saturday at 10 a.m., while Wake Forest and Rice play in the day's second match at 3 p.m.

"Good showing today," said Chadwick, with three freshmen among the six players he called on to defeat the Trojans. "Great job by the seniors (Bram ten Berge, Jonas Berg) showing leadership. Great job by the junior, Kalle Norberg, playing lights out. The freshmen were impressive today."

On court one in singles, freshman Devin Britton of Brandon was solid in his first start in collegiate team play. The score was 6-4, 7-5, not necessarily a runaway. But Britton got stronger as the match went on, and he won the final five games of set two for victory.

"Devin's an impressive player," Chadwick said. "He's got a lot of firepower. He's good and he showed it today."

Britton admitted having some first home match jitters.

"It was a good match. I was a little nervous," he said. "I was a little sloppy in the beginning of the second set. I was down 5-2 and got back into it. My nerves went away a little bit, and I played much better after that."

Ole Miss got things started by sweeping the doubles to go up 1-0. Britton teamed with freshman Otto Sauer for an 8-3 win at No. 2 and then Kalle Norberg and freshman Chris Thiemann won 8-4 at No. 3 to clinch the point.

Play continued in doubles as the nation's No. 1 tandem of Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge were challenged in their match but won 9-7.

"They know they have a target on their back by being No. 1 in the nation," Chadwick said of Berg and ten Berge. "It would make somebody's year to beat them. They started off slow, but regrouped to close out the sweep."

Norberg made it 2-0 Ole Miss with a dominating 6-1, 6-0 performance against Benjamin Chomette at No. 3 singles. Berg increased the UM lead to 3-0 by defeating Aurelien Tave 7-5, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, setting up Britton's clinching match.

At No. 4 singles, ten Berge won his match 6-3, 6-1 which made it 5-0, then Sauer at No. 5 and Thiemann at No. 6 completed the sweep.

"It was good for the freshmen to get some experience," Chadwick said. "Saturday is the real deal. Kentucky will be a top 10 team by the end of the year. It's going to be a great match. We'll be ready to play, and we'll have to play well to win."

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