The Rebel tennis team improved to 14-4 (5-2) today with a win over Vandy in impressive fashion. The middle of a three-game road stint, this match hopefully gave the team some needed experience in adverse weather conditions that Coach Billy Chadwick claims had quite an effect on the team in their loss to Florida.
The Rebels began the match with almost expected domination of the doubles point, as Robbye Poole filled in for the injured Bram ten Berge to win at No. 2 with partner Matthias Wellermann. Moving to singles, Wellermann's troubles continued at No. 1 in SEC play. Coach Chadwick has stuck with Matthias at the top spot in every SEC match despite a 2-4 record in conference play and a more proven player in Erling Tveit sitting at No. 2. I dare not question the decision making of our esteemed coach of 25 years, but I am waiting to see Matthias ram his huge serve down some people's throats.
Do not despair, Rebel fans, about losses on the first court--it is our depth that wins us matches. Tveit fulfilled expectations with a win at No. 2 (6-3, 7-5), and the "good" side of somewhat erratic player Robbye Poole showed up to pull out a win on court 3 (7-5, 6-4).
Jonas Berg continues to keep fans excited about the future of the program with yet another strong win (6-2, 6-4) at No. 4. I know that he plays easier opponents on courts 4 and 5, but Berg has only one loss in singles to his name this spring (and he made his opponent work for it). He plays hard and knows how to win; expect him to shoot forward in the line-up after the graduation of much of the team this year.
Kalle Norberg has returned to usual form in the past two matches after a disappointing loss at No. 5 against Florida with a 6-1, 6-0 win today. Jakob Klaeson filled the final spot over freshman Tucker Vorster as the Rebs still suffer from the injury to ten Berge. In only his second SEC singles match of the year, Klaeson bounced back from losing the clinching match against the Gators a week ago and showed resilience in his 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 6. The team really needs him to step up while ten Berge, who has been out of action since playing doubles against Florida, recovers.
The Rebels travel to Lexington to face Kentucky on Sunday and need a strong match to bring them home for the remainder of the regular season.