Men's Tennis Opens Season with Win Over UAB

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team opened up its 2006 season with a 4-0 shutout win over UAB on Friday. The match, which began at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, was moved indoors to McCarthy Gymnasium during singles play due to rain.

The Bulldogs jumped on the board first, winning two of the three doubles matches to take the first point. The Bulldog duo of Ryan Farlow and Florent Girod knocked off the UAB tandem of Johannos Spangenberg and Adrien Tollstam at the #3 spot by a score of 8-4. MSU clinched the point when State's Ivan Bjelica and Jose-Carlos Pinto won 8-6 over UAB's Anton Mavrin and Kristjan Mitrovski at the #1 position. At the #2 spot UAB's Sebastian Falk and Andre Maier defeated State's Philippe Frayssionux and Pierre Mouillon by a score of 8-6.

In singles play, all six matches were in the second set when play was stopped and moved indoors. After a 40 minute delay, Bjelica took the court and quickly closed out UAB's Kristjan Mitrovski by a score of 6-1, 6-2 at the #1 position to give State a 2-0 lead. At the #2 position, MSU's Mouillon outbattled Blazer Anton Mavrin for a hard fought 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4) win. Bulldog senior Pinto clinched the match for the Bulldogs, also winning a third set tiebreaker by a score of 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3) over UAB's Sebastian Falk. The other three singles matches were suspended when MSU clinched the match. With the win, the Bulldogs are now 21-1 all time against UAB and have won 13 straight in the series.

"I am proud of the way our guys battled today," said MSU head coach Sylvain Guichard. "Both teams had to fight some tough circumstances with the weather, but we were able to focus and get a win over a very fine UAB team."

The Bulldogs next action will be Feb. 9 when the Bulldogs travel to Jackson, Miss. to take on Mississippi at 5 p.m. in the ninth-annual River Hills Cup.

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