April 6, 2007
The seventh-ranked Ole Miss Rebels had just little bit more in the tank Friday night as they battled back to outlast Tennessee 4-3 in a six-hour match at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center.
"It took six hours to decide the winner tonight," head coach Sam Winterbotham said. "We put ourselves in a good position to against one of the best teams in the country. It came down to our senior and I couldn't think of a better person to have there. I'm so proud of the way Kiril fought. I'm proud of everybody for the way they fought.
"We are going to be a great team. We are going to be successful at the level Tennessee expects us to be and this year's team is giving everything they have to make it happen."
The match was moved indoors because of the cold weather in Knoxville, so when UT's Kiril Tcherveniachki and Ole Miss's Kalle Norberg took the court for their match the Rebels already had a 2-1 lead. The two players battled incredibly hard and no point went uncontested the whole match, by the time Tcherveniachki won the first set in a tiebreaker all the other matches had finished and both players knew the match would come down to them. Norberg would take control in the second set, winning 6-3. In the third set, Norberg jumped out to a 3-0 lead and repeatedly squashed any hope Tcherveniachki had of coming back, eventually winning the set and the match 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
The Vols captured the doubles point in dramatic fashion when Bo Hardegree and Tcherveniachki came-from-behind not once, but twice, to clinch the point over the Rebels Jakob Klaeson and Robbye Poole. The UT duo found themselves down 7-5 but rallied back to take an 8-7 lead. After the Rebels tied the match at eight, the Vols found themselves down 5-2 in the tiebreaker but the UT duo once again rallied back to win the tiebreaker 8-6 and give UT the early 1-0 lead.
Poole tied the match for Ole Miss (19-2, 8-1 SEC) with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Rogers at the No. 4 singles position. The loss was only the second for Rogers this season in SEC play, the UT senior still has an impressive 25-10 singles record for the year.
Minutes later, Claesson gave the Rebels a 2-1 lead with his 6-2, 6-0 win over Bobby Cameron at No. 2 singles.
Kaden Hensel brought the Vols back to a tie with a straight-set win over Erling Tveit at No. 1 singles. The UT junior defeated the 19th-ranked Tveit 6-4, 6-2. The victory was Hensel's 12th this season over a ranked player.
Berg put the Rebels back on top 3-2, with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Hubble at the No. 6 position. The Vols are now 15-3 on the season at the No. 6 slot in the singles lineup.
Sandgren brought the Vols back one final time outlasting Wellermann at the No. 3 position, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4. Sandgren is now 14-3 this season in three-set matches.
Tennessee is now 14-5 on the season, 6-3 in the SEC. All three of UT's losses in SEC play have been by the score of 4-3.
The Vols play their final home match of the season Sunday when they host 64th-ranked Mississippi State (6-11, 3-6 SEC) at 1 p.m. All home matches are free to the public. Live scoring for the match can be found at UTsports.com.
|No. 7 Ole Miss 4, No. 22 Tennessee 3|
|1. No. 33 Kaden Hensel (UT) def. No. 19 Erling Tveit (UM)||6-4, 6-2|
|2. No. 91 Eric Claesson (UM) def. No. 36 Bobby Cameron (UT)||6-2, 6-0|
|3. No. 117 Davey Sandgren (UT) def. No. 84 Matthias Wellermann (UM)||6-7, 7-6, 6-4|
|4. No. 40 Robbye Poole (UM) def. Ben Rogers (UT)||6-1, 6-2|
|5. Kalle Norberg (UM) def. Kiril Tcherveniachki (UT)||6-7, 6-3, 6-2|
|6. Jonas Berg (UM) def. Adam Hubble (UT)||6-2, 6-3|
|Order of Finish:4,2,1,6,3,5|
|1. No. 30 Claesson/Tveit (UM) def. No. 23 Cameron/Hensel (UT)||8-5|
|2. No. 46 Hubble/Rogers (UT) def. Berg/Wellermann (UM)||8-6|
|3. Hardegree/Tcherveniachki (UT) def. Klaeson/Poole (UM)||9-8(6)|
|Order of Finish: 1,2,3|