STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the first time in the program's history the 33rd-ranked Mississippi State men's tennis team will serve up to the No. 36 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Bulldogs will host the Huskers on Wednesday, Mar. 23 at 2 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre where admission is free to all home MSU matches. It also marks the beginning of MSU men's tennis Sorority Challenge where the MSU sorority Delta Delta Delta will serve as the host of tomorrow's match.
"We have a contest going on with all the sororities on campus which begins tomorrow and Tri Delta will be the first ones to host for us," Coach Per Nilsson said. "Even though it isn't a conference match Nebraska is a quality team and would be a big win for us so we need all the fans to come out and support the guys and cheer us to a victory."
State is riding a current three-match win streak into Wednesday's match against the Cornhuskers who have won seven-straight matches and will play at 44th-ranked LSU today. MSU is 3-1 at home this season and this will be the first Wednesday match for the Bulldogs. MSU is fresh off of a dominating 7-0 victory this past Saturday at South Carolina. It was the first 7-0 victory against a SEC opponent since 2001 and State has now claimed three matches in 7-0 fashion this season.
The Bulldogs, who currently hold a one-match lead over the SEC western division, boast three-ranked players in singles led by junior Artem Ilyushin who is 84th in the country. Ilyushin has won two-straight matches and picked up his 45th career singles win when donning the Maroon and White this past Saturday. Also ranked are juniors George Coupland and Louis Cant. Coupland stands at 85th nationally and has also won two-straight while Cant is ranked 92nd and has won three-straight. Other notable Bulldogs include sophomore James Chaudry who is a stellar 8-1 in dual match play, Malte Stropp who has been named the SEC's Freshman of the Week three times this season and most recently picked up the honor last week and freshman Zach White who is a solid 4-1 in SEC matches and winner of three-straight.
In doubles MSU is led by the tandem of Cant and Stropp who stand at 69th nationally. State is a perfect 4-0 this year when they claim the all-important doubles point.
Nebraska's Christopher Aumueller is ranked 81st nationally and is 8-6 in dual match play. The Huskers' Calin Paar is a solid 10-5 in dual match action, playing primarily at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots and Sebastian Florczyk is an impressive 12-1 in dual match play.
The Cornhusker tandem of Aumueller and Benedikt Lindheim are ranked 65th in the country and have a 9-2 dual match record. The Huskers have won the doubles point in 12 of their 16 matches this season.
The Bulldogs and Huskers will serve it up at 2 p.m. CT at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on Wednesday, March 23. Admission is free and live stats will be available at www.mstateathletics.com.
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. - Freshman Mary Langdon Gallagher fired a 2-over-par 74 in the third round of the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate at the Eagles Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga., on Tuesday to finish in fifth place, the best finish of her young career. For the two-day event, Gallagher tied her career-low 54-hole score of 219.
"It was great to be able to put three solid rounds together this week," she said. "It helps build my confidence going into the last two tournaments of my freshman year."
Gallagher's 219 is 25 strokes below her average 54-hole score. She also set a new personal career-low round with a 70 during the first round on Monday.
Mississippi State women's golf team carded a 917 clip for the two-day, 54-hole event. The lady linksters managed a seventh-place finish, only nine strokes from medalling in the tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs' score is the second-best tournament they have played this season and is 13.8 strokes below their tournament average score.
Seniors Erika Thornton and Mallory Batson finished behind Gallagher in the field notching 231 cards. Batson owned the Lady Bulldogs best third-round score (73). Sophomore Maria Roos and freshman Esther Huffman both knocked 241 strokes to finish in a tie for 55th.
"While I am pleased with our continued improvement, we are nowhere near where we should be as a team," MSU Coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. "That being said, it takes time and lots of work. We are all willing to do what it takes to get there. With our new practice facility, we should be able to see a dramatic improvement in the near future."
Notre Dame finished first at 888, while Mitsuki Katahira of Daytona State College won the event with a 210. Katahira fired a tournament record by firing a 66 on Tuesday.
The Lady Bulldogs return to action on April 1 at the Rebel Intercollegiate in Oxford, Miss.