News from MSU Media Relations--Oct. 31

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Men's Golf, Men's Tennis, Volleyball and Cross Country.

Men's Golf
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Robi Calvesbert of the Mississippi State men's golf team has completed play at the World Amateur Team Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Calvesbert represented his native Puerto Rico in the three-round international competition.

Calvesbert fired a 54-hole score of 236 and finished in a tie for 139th among the 196-individual player field. Puerto Rico finished in a tie for 32nd among the 69-team field.

"It is a great honor for Robi (Calvesbert) to represent his country (Puerto Rico) and his school (Mississippi State) at this prestigious international golf tournament," Coach Clay Homan said.

Calvesbert who is a sophomore on the Mississippi State men's golf team will return to campus this week to complete the semester at MSU.

Men's Tennis
NICEVILLE, Fla. - Four members of the Mississippi State men's tennis team advanced to the final round of qualifying at the Niceville Futures in Niceville, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 31.

Senior Max Gregor picked up his second victory at the Futures event with a straight-set win, 6-4, 6-2, while Artem Ilyushin also earned a straight-set victory, 6-2, 6-4. True freshman Malte Stropp claimed a close first set 6-5 and blanked his opponent in the second set, 6-0, to advance to the final round of qualifying. George Coupland of MSU defeated his teammate Louis Cant in a straight-set match, 6-1, 7-6.

All four victorious Bulldogs will attempt to qualify for the main draw of the Niceville Futures on Monday. Results will be made available at

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi State fell short in a bid for a season series sweep of Arkansas, bowing to the Razorbacks 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-17) Sunday afternoon before 702 fans at UA's Barnhill Arena.

The Bulldogs (11-13, 3-10 SEC) opened their SEC home schedule Sept. 24 with a five-set win over Arkansas. But the Hogs (12-13, 6-8 SEC) rode a 17-kill performance by Jasmine Norton and took advantage of a poor offensive showing by State and a solid effort at the net to notch the Halloween afternoon win. Arkansas owned a 44-28 edge in kills and finished with a 10-3 advantage in total team blocking. Charmaine Whitmore delivered seven knock-downs for UA.

State's season leader in kills, junior Caitlin Rance, paced State with eight kills, while Kellye Jordan finished with seven.

State managed early leads in all three sets, taking a 6-4 edge on a pair of kills by Rance. Arkansas answered with a 4-0 run and never trailed in a 25-20 opening set win. MSU pushed Arkansas in the second set, taking a 19-18 lead on Ashley Newsome's first kill of the afternoon. The lead was short-lived, however, with UA out-pointing State down the stretch 7-1 to take a 2-0 match lead at the intermission. Rance led another Bulldog charge in the third set, nailing back-to-back kills as State pulled even with the Razorbacks at 14-14. But Arkansas scored six of the next seven points, three on kills by Norton, to regain command of the set en route to a match-clinching 25-17 win.

The Bulldogs open their November schedule at the Newell-Grissom Building this weekend, hosting defending SEC East champion Kentucky Friday at 7 p.m. and Tennessee Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Cross Country
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Confidence will be the key for the Mississippi State cross country teams as they travel to South Carolina Monday for the SEC Championships.

The meet will be held at Fort Jackson's Hilton Field and is slated to begin at 9 a.m.

"This will be our toughest meet to date," senior Adam Lenz stated. "We haven't raced everybody in the SEC yet, but I'm confident that we are ready, and if we give it our all we can finish in the top half."

Finishing in the top half fits right in with the goal of contending for SEC championships that coach Houston Franks has set for his teams. Individually, Franks says there are several runners in the mix for all-conference and all-freshman honors.

"The top 14 runners make all-SEC, and there are about 30 guys running who all stand a shot of being up there, and I can proudly say that a couple of those guys are on our team," Franks said. "For the women, we have three to four who are certainly in the mix for all-conference. Additionally, we have runners on both men's and women's side who stand a good shot of making all-freshman teams."

On the men's side, Franks is looking to Lenz and his demonstrated success to guide the team in his final SEC meet.

"Lenz is one of our top runners," Franks added. "In cross country, you score your team's top five runners, and I cannot think of a time Adam has not been there. He is the meat and potatoes of our team and has served in every capacity from top finisher to supporting cast member. On Adam is the foundation of what we want to do here at MSU, and on the track he serves as almost an assistant coach, and I am looking for him to continue that role at the SECs."

Lenz seems to be ready for the challenge saying, "I'm nervous, because it's a big meet. The SEC is tough, but this being my fourth SEC, I'm confident and I'm ready to go out there and give it my all."

Being picked 9th in the preseason polls has got the Lady Bulldogs lacing up with a purpose.

"When the polls first came out, the girls were a little upset, but that has only motivated us more," Franks said. "Renee (Masterson), Haley (Greenwell), Dominique (Lockhart), and Katie (Hutson) are all at their best and are all going to run great. We are coming in with a chip on our shoulder, and we will finish better than picked."

The SEC championships will certainly be a tough test for the Bulldogs, but the teams are confident, prepared, and ready to show the rest of the conference what they are made of.

Gene's Page Top Stories