ATHENS, Ga. - In their first SEC road test this spring, Mississippi State's 12th-ranked men's tennis squad (11-4, 2-1 SEC) dropped a tough 4-3 decision to the No. 6 Bulldogs of Georgia (12-1, 3-0 SEC) on Friday.
As doubles play began, Georgia took the early decision on court 2 as Sadio Doumbia and Nathan Pasha downed MSU's pair of George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin 8-5.
However, Mississippi State would battle back to take the next two matches in the No. 1 and 3 positions. In the top spot for MSU was the 23rd-ranked tandem of Louis Cant and Malte Stropp who ousted Georgia's pair of Ignacio Toboada and Hernus Pieters 8-4.
Clinching the doubles point for State was the duo of Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson. Keeping the advantage through most of the match, MSU would down UGA's pair of Will Spencer and KU Singh to take the match 8-4 and the doubles point for State.
Down 1-0 headed to singles action, Georgia would storm back and take the first four matches complete to clinch the team win.
On court 4 for Georgia was 43rd-ranked Toboada who downed MSU's No. 37 Cant 6-2, 6-2 to even the match for UGA. Quickly following was 11th-ranked Doumbia as he ousted State's No. 75 Stropp 6-2, 6-0 in the third position.
Battling in the No. 6 position was MSU's Antonio Lastre. After taking a quick 6-0 first set, Georgia's Pasha would down Lastre to take the second set and match 6-0, 6-3, extending UGA's lead to 3-1.
The match-clincher would come from court 2 where MSU's James Chaudry faced Georgia's 35th-ranked Singh. Taking a the first set 6-2, Singh ousted Chaudry 6-2, 6-3 to clinch the match 4-1 for Georgia.
The remaining courts would go to Mississippi State as two seniors battled their way to impressive victories over ranked foes.
MSU's 41st-ranked Coupland was in a "Dog" fight in the fifth spot where he took a nailbiting 7-6 decision in the first set from Georgia's 47th-ranked Pieters. However, Coupland would take an easier second set and match 7-6, 6-3.
In the top spot for State was the 27th-ranked Ilyushin where he faced his sixth top-35 opponent in eight matches. Taking on Georgia's third-ranked Spencer, Ilyushin battled to take the first set 6-4 but Spencer would not go away. Down 5-3 in the second, Spencer would battle back to tie the match 5-5. But Ilyushin would prove too much as he took the second set and match 6-4, 7-5 in a notable upset to give a final score of 4-3 in favor of Georgia. Ilyushin has now beaten five of his six top 35 foes this season.
MSU now makes a quick turnaround as the Bulldogs travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the 19th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers on Sunday at 12 p.m. CT at the Goodfriend Tennis Centre.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis fell in a 7-0 decision at home Friday afternoon to No. 7 Georgia.
Georgia began doubles play with a win on court three via default from Mississippi State. UGA then took an early 1-0 lead after clinching the doubles point as the nation's No. 6 duo, Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchris, posted an 8-0 victory against Roseline Dion and Naomi Tran of MSU at No. 2. Alexandra Perper and Olesya Tsigvintseva posted MSU's only victory of the day with an 8-5 win at the No. 1 position against Georgia's Kate Fuller and Lauren Herring.
With only five available players, State was forced to default on court six, giving Georgia a 2-0 lead. UGA remained in command as singles play continued, posting wins on courts three, four, and then two. At the No. 3 position, Georgia's Gilchrist defeated the MSU freshman Tran 6-0, 6-1. UGA's Lilly Kimbell posted a 6-0, 6-0 triumph against Petra Ferancova at the No. 4 position to clinch the UGA win.
A 6-0, 6-1 win for Georgia's No. 56 Herring against Tsigvintseva followed on court two.On court five, Dion fell 6-1, 6-2 to No. 69 Kate Fuller for Georgia.
Perper provided hope for a Lady Bulldog victory by winning her first set against No.11 Chelsey Gullickson 6-4 at the No.1 position. Gullickson took an early 2-0 lead in the second set, but Perper was able to fight back to gain a 3-2 lead. Gullickson ended up securing a 6-3 victory in the set, forcing the match to go into a super tie-break decision for the third set. The lead fluctuated back and forth until Gullickson was able to hold her ground and take a 6-4 lead. From that point on, Gullickson maintained control, taking the match in a 4-6, 6-3, 1-0(4) decision.
Lady Bulldog tennis will take to its home courts once again as they take on No. 8 ranked Tennessee at 1 p.m. this Sunday.
Updates for the match will be available via twitter at @mstateWT. A link to live stats can be found on hailstate.com.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With first-round action of the Seminole Intercollegiate complete, the Mississippi State men's golf team is tied for 12th-place after a 9-over-par 293 card.
After 18 holes at the Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla., the Bulldogs are tied with South Florida, just two strokes back of a Top 10 finish. MSU is currently riding a streak of six straight Top 10's, the longest such streak since posting seven straight to open the 2007-08 season.
No. 8 Georgia Tech is currently tied with No. 18 Florida State atop the tournament leaderboard. Each team posted 6-under-par 278's on Friday.
Freshman Fletcher Johnson is one stroke back of a Top 25 finish individually after turning in a 1-over-par 72 in the first round of his third tournament this season. He has notched Top 10 cards in each of his other two tourneys.
Alex Rowland and Chad Ramey chased Johnson into the clubhouse with a pair of 73's. Rowland is seeing his first action since winning a share of the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate and garnering SEC Player of the Week honors.
John Darden and Clay Bounds rounded out the Bulldogs' day with a 75 and 76, respectively.
Jeff Karlsson of Kennesaw State is tops individually after firing a 6-under-opar 65.
Play resumes Saturday morning with live stats available through hailstate.com beginning at 7 a.m. CST. Play concludes with an 18-hole round on Sunday.
Fans can also follow Mississippi State golf on Twitter @mstateMG and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mstateMG.