MSU To Play FSU In Men's Tennis NCAA Tourney

The 19th ranked Mississippi State men's tennis team (13-8) is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. They were selected as the No. 2 seed in their regional and will be playing 47th ranked Florida State (9-14) Friday, May 13th at 10 am ET (9 CT) in the regional hosted by Georgia Tech (19-5). The fourth team in the Georgia Tech regional is Middle Tennessee State (13-12).

Mississippi State head coach Per Nilsson commented on his team being selected.

"It felt really good because we have been wanting to get back into the tournament for awhile," said Nilsson. "It was really nice to get back into it. The guys were really excited."

MSU will likely play their first round match against Florida State Friday, May 13th. This will be the first time Nilsson has faced Florida State since becoming the MSU head coach.

"We know a little about them from being at some individual tournaments in the fall but we haven't seen them as a team this year," said Nilsson. "And we actually haven't played them since I've been here (as the head coach). Due to that, they are a new team to us. We can talk to some coaches who have played them. And we'll go over their matches and see how they have been doing."

MSU and FSU have three common opponents, Florida, Georgia Tech and Nebraska.

One of those opponents, Georgia Tech, is the host of the regional. Although not looking past Florida State, Nilsson wouldn't mind seeing his team have a chance to play them again after losing to them 0-4 indoors earlier in the season.

"I've got to get my guys ready for Florida State, but if we could somehow sneak by them and get a rematch with Georgia Tech that would be great," said Nilsson. "But first things first; we have to play Florida State."

Mississippi State is one of nine SEC teams selected to play in the tournament. A fact that Nilsson is not only proud of but something he believes will help his team's play in the NCAA Tournament.

"We are proud of being in the SEC because everybody is really good," said the head coach. "We beat each other up, and that may sometimes hurt us in the ranking because we get some losses that other conferences don't get during the season because they don't have as many good teams. But I feel that helps us get tougher throughout the SEC regular season. Then, when you make it into the NCAA Tournament you have seen that level. You won't be surprised by what you see."

The Georgia Tech bracket is opposite the Southern Cal bracket. Southern Cal is the overall No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The winners of both brackets will play each other on May 19th.


MSU IN THE 2011 NCAA MEN'S TENNIS TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

First and Second Rounds
May 13-14, 2011 – Atlanta, Ga.

Friday, May 13
#21 Mississippi State (13-8) vs. #47 Florida State (9-14) – 10 a.m. ET

#15 Georgia Tech (19-5) vs. Middle Tennessee (13-12) – 1 p.m. ET

Saturday, May 14
Second Round Match (to advance to round of 16 at Palo Alto, CA) - 3 p.m. ET


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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