Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 9

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NCAA.5.2292.JPGBilly Chadwick, SEC Championships, Final Fours and dramatic wins over Georgia.  These are just a few of the major accomplishments that resonate throughout the Ole Miss tennis program.  Chadwick has led the Rebels to these heights before and did so again in 2005.  The No. 9 moment on the countdown involves all of these.

In 1995, as we have previously recognized, the Rebels beat the No. 2 seed Georgia in Athens to send the Rebels to the NCAA National Championship match.  In 2005, Chadwick and the Rebels beat SEC rival Georgia 4-2 to send them to the NCAA Final Four for the 4th time in program history.  

Before we recount the drama-packed Georgia win, we'll navigate through the road in which the Rebels came to the quarterfinal showdown.  Ole Miss hosted its sixth regional at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center and welcomed Jacksonville State, Middle Tennessee and Auburn to Oxford.  The Rebels protected their home court by defeating Jacksonville State 4-0 in the first round, and taking down Auburn 4-2 to send the Rebels to the Sweet Sixteen for the 10th time.  

The Rebels then had to travel to College Station, Texas to square off against Texas Tech in the round of 16.  With big performances from three-time All-American Catalin Gard, freshman Erling Tveit and Juan Pablo Di Cesare, Ole Miss advanced to the Elite Eight and set up a showdown between two of the top programs in the country with a Final Four appearance on the line.

Now, let the dramatics ensue.  Down 1-5 in the third set, freshman Bram ten Berge rallied at No. 5 singles to beat Georgia's Ricardo Gonzalez and clinch the match to send the Rebels to the NCAA Final Four.  The Rebels would lose a tough one to the eventual national champion UCLA 4-1 in the semifinals.  The Rebels would end the season ranked No. 3 in the country.

"To be one of four teams left standing at the end of the year is a tribute to the entire team, who worked hard all year to get to this position," Chadwick said at the conclusion of the 2005 season.  "We are thrilled to finish as SEC Champions and NCAA Semifinalists."

On Wednesday, we will shift focus to 2006 and celebrate an individual accomplishment; only this time, the accomplishment is not of a player.  Stay tuned to see what it could be.

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