Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Little Tennis News

Probably the overall most succesful team year in and year out is the Ole Miss maens tennis program. Billy Chadwick has built a dynasty at Ole Miss and that dynasty will continue this year. Below are some notes from UMAA on their ranking, and a look at the season to come.

I know there is a former Rebel tennis member that reads every now and then and would love to hear his thoughts on the season.

(UMAA)OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men’s tennis team is ranked No. 5 in the preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national team rankings, released Tuesday. This marks the 14th consecutive year for the Rebels to begin the season in the top 10.

Ole Miss is one of two teams from the nation’s toughest conference (SEC) to be ranked in the top five. Georgia, the defending NCAA Champion, is ranked No. 2. Virginia earned the top spot, followed by Georgia, Ohio State, Baylor and Ole Miss. The rest of the top 10 includes Southern Cal, Texas, Illinois, UCLA and North Carolina. The SEC boasts six teams in the Top 25.

In 2007, the Rebels captured their sixth consecutive SEC Western Division Championship and advanced to the NCAA “Sweet Sixteen” for the 12th time in the history of the program. The Rebels return six of the top seven players from last year’s team. In addition, Bram ten Berge, who missed last season due to a wrist injury, returns.

“This will be an exciting year for Ole Miss tennis,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We are led by four outstanding seniors that have been part of an NCAA Final Four team and winning the SEC Championship. They are determined to make this year their best.”

The Rebels boast four players in the singles rankings, led by senior Matthias Wellermann, who begins the spring at No. 5. He had an outstanding fall capturing the Southeast Regional (regarded as the toughest region) Championship and leading the team with a 10-2 record.

Senior All-American Erling Tveit, is ranked No. 26 while fellow All-American Robbye Poole is ranked No. 48.

The preseason rankings were done by a vote and largely based on where a player finished the previous season. This ranking is the first one done by a computer which strictly factors in wins and losses.

Bram ten Berge has fully recovered from his wrist injury that caused him to miss the entire spring of 2007. He is ranked No. 58 in the country based on his fall results. ten Berge played No. 3 singles for the Rebels in 2006 and earned All-SEC honors as well as being named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men’s tennis.

Ole Miss boasts two of the nation’s top doubles teams, led by Erling Tveit and Jonas Berg, who earned a No. 4 national ranking. The pair debuted in the fall, and captured the Baylor Invitational, finished runner-up at the ITA All-American Championships, and won the backdraw at the National Indoor.

Matthias Wellermann and Bram ten Berge are ranked No. 24 in the country. The duo posted a 9-3 record in the fall and reached the finals of the Southeast Regional Championship.

The Rebels open the 2008 season Jan. 24 against Arkansas-Little Rock. First serve is at 2 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center.

The national spotlight will be on the Rebels as they take on Ohio State Saturday, Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. The showdown between the two top-five teams will be played indoors at the Gillom Sports Center. Admission to all home matches is free.