#21 Bulldogs To Host #1 Georgia Sunday

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's 21st-ranked men's tennis team will continue its current three-match homestand Sunday, hosting top-ranked and defending national champion Georgia. Match time is set for 1 p.m. at MSU's A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

State, 8-7 overall and 2-5 in the SEC, will be looking to rebound from a 5-2 loss to #13 Tennessee Friday afternoon on the MSU campus. The Bulldogs are led by sophomore Romain Ambert, who is ranked 10th in the country in singles, and junior Rene-Charles Combette (75th). Ambert and Combette are No. 18 nationally together in doubles.

Georgia is 18-1 overall, 7-0 in SEC play after a 5-2 victory at No. 6 Mississippi Friday. The Bulldogs from Athens currently have four players ranked nationally, led by juniors Brandon Wagner (15th) and Matias Boeker (22nd). Boeker, who won the NCAA triple crown (team, singles and doubles titles) last season, is ranked 38th nationally in doubles with sophomore Bo Hodge.

UGA holds a 36-4 advantage over MSU in the series (since 1969) and has claimed victory in the last nine meetings between the teams, the most recent a 5-2 decision in Starkville last year.

"I certainly do not have to explain the fact that Georgia will be difficult to beat," MSU head coach Sylvain Guichard said. "They won the national championship last year and are on pace to repeat this season.

"But that certainly does not mean we can't win the match. They have had some close matches with teams we have beaten this year. As it has been all year, what it will come down to is whether or not we prepare well, focus and fight all the way through the match. If we do those things, we can win. We proved that last week at (then-fourth-ranked) Kentucky."

Following Sunday's contest, the Bulldogs will close out their homestand Tuesday by hosting a very talented and tough 33rd-ranked Middle Tennessee squad in a makeup contest at 2 p.m. as part of Super Bulldog Week activities.

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