News from MSU Media Relations--April 15

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis team closed out the 2006 regular season with a 6-1 loss on the home courts to 49th-ranked Mississippi on Saturday. With the loss, MSU will be the 11th seed in upcoming 2006 Southeastern Conference Women's Tennis Championships this week in Gainesville, Fla.

MSU's Tatiana Feit reeled in the squad's only point of the afternoon by dropping Lady Rebel Virginia Tomatis 6-1, 6-2 in the fifth spot in the line up. Feit has won two of her last three SEC match ups over the past two weekends of competition.

UM opened the match by sweeping all three doubles matches. The Red and Blue clinched the match between the two in-state rivals at the No. 1 position. UM's Kessnia Tokarieva, ranked 108th in the country, topped Lady Bulldog Renee Joseph 6-2, 6-3. Ilona Somers picked up a win over MSU's Martina Banikova 6-0, 6-2 on court two, while Lady Rebel Nika Koukhartchouk dropped the opening set to State's Daniela Juskova 7-6(6), but Juskova retired at the beginning of the second set. MState freshman Elna de Villiers match went three sets with UM's Preethi Subramanian. De Villiers took the first set 7-5, but fell 6-0, 10-7 in the next two sets.

The bracket for the 2006 SEC Women's Tennis Championship will be announced Saturday night or Sunday by the league office after all of the weekend's competition has concluded. The bracket will be available on the official web site of the SEC at Competition will get underway on the University of Florida campus on Thursday, April 20.

Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University track and field teams closed out the 2006 home schedule by setting six regional qualifying marks and winning 13 events on Saturday at the Jace Lacoste Invitational. Senior Jasmine Walls (Picayune, Miss.) led the way for MSU, clearing a regional qualifying 5 feet, 10-and-three-quarters inches in the high jump to set a new MSU school record and Jace Lacoste Invitational record.

"It was a good day for us," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "This was a tough meet to get regionals at since since it's your team pushing each other. Jen (McPherson) had a good day in the 1500. All the 1500 girls ran impressively. Obviously, Jasmine's (Walls) school record is big. Meggan (Hodge) ran well, too, as did our sprint guys."

Freshman Janelle Finley (Mobile, Ala.) qualified for June's Mideast Regional in the long jump, leaping a personal best 19-11 3/4. The mark ranks as the second best in school history. Finley went on to take fifth in the triple jump with a personal best mark of 39-08, the fifth-best in the event in MSU history. Junior all-American Arthur Davis (Mobile, Ala.) also met a regional mark in the men's 400-meter dash, finishing third in 46.40 seconds.In the women's 200-meter dash, Gabrielle Dillon (Liberty, Miss.) ran the fifth-best time in school history, crossing the tape in 23.96, a regional qualifying mark and personal best for the freshman.

On the track, freshman Marrissa Harris (Memphis, Tenn.) ran 13.97 seconds to win the women's 100-meter hurdles and 24.46 in the 200-meter dash to finish fourth. Junior Jen McPherson (Nampa, Idaho) picked up her first win of the outdoor season, taking the meet title in the 1500-meter run in 4:28.11. Zita Magloire (Tallahassee, Fla.) followed with a personal-best 4:29.69 and a regional-qualifying 2:09.16 in a second-place finish in the 800-meter run. Junior Liz Grube (Sherwood, Wis.) placed third in 4:38.53, junior Mina Thorstenson (Okauchee, Wis.) was fourth with a personal-best 4:39.40 and freshman Michelle Corrigan (Green Bay, Wis.) took fifth in 4:43.12. Senior Meggan Hodge (Beaumont, Alberta) recorded her best time of the season in the 3000-meter steeplechase, breaking her Jace Lacoste record from 2005 by winning the 2006 title in 10:56.40. Junior Joy Griffth (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) followed Hodge, taking second in 11:02.82.

In the men's 4x400-meter relay of junior Ezra Jones (Wildwood, Fla.), sophomore all-American Elzie Coleman, A. Davis and junior Bruce Davis (Phenix City, Ala.) combined to run a regional qualifying 3:07.98. The MSU women's 4x100-meter relay tied their season-best time, taking third in 46.66. Harris led off with the lead lap and freshman Antrese Banks (Gloster, Miss.), Dillon and Finley followed. In the 4x400-meter relay, Banks, freshman Dot Youmans (Poplarville, Miss.), sophomore Andrea Wahlin (Cold Spring, Minn.) and Magloire ran 3:56.14.

Freshman Emily Sanders (Woodstock, Ga.) improved on her mark in the hammer throw. Sanders won the meet title with a personal best and freshman record throw of 172-02. She followed with a second-place finish in the javelin throw (124-04). Junior Christina Hernandez (Asheville, N.C.) took top billing in the shot put with a mark of 41-093/4 and in the discus throw with a personal best mark and regional qualifying mark of 156-00, the second-best throw in school history. Senior Lauren Johnson (Scottsboro, Ala.) finished third in the long jump with a season's best leap of 19-04 and ran 14.52 in the 100-meter hurdles. Harris also set a personal best in the long jump (19-00 1/2). Youmans took second in the high jump, clearing a personal best height and the second-best mark in school history at 5-07.

Redshirt freshman Keith Hewlett (Detroit, Mich.) won the men's long jump, leaping 23-02 1/2 and set a personal best in the triple jump, finishing in a tie for third (46-10 1/4). Teammate Jerald Wilson (Port Gibson, Miss.) finished second with a mark of 22-03. Wilson later won the triple jump (47-07 3/4). Sophomore Joseph Queen (Jackson, Miss.) took top honors in the men's javelin throw (159-10). Queen also finished third in the pole vault with a season's best clearing of 14-07 3/4. Daniel Zabaldano (Brandon, Miss.) finished second in the javelin with a personal-best throw of 159-05. Zabaldano also took second in the discus throw (145-00). Three other Bulldogs finished in the top six in the javelin throw, including freshman Darryl Brady (Vancleave, Miss.) in fourth with 157-01 and a pair of distance runners competing in their first javelin competition -- Gedamu Ege (Atlanta, Ga.) who finished fifth (111-07) and Phillip Moore (Hoover, Ala.) in sixth (105-08). Moore went on to take second in the 1500-meter run, clocking a personal-best 3:56.11. Ege was third in 3:57.22, also a personal best. Redshirt freshman Pad Judd (Cushing, Wis.) set a personal best mark in the event, running 4:00.30. Brady finished in a tie for second in the high jump, clearing a personal best 6-06 3/4.

In other track events, junior Wade Martin (Cullman, Ala.) won his first 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:42.26. Junior Eliott Morant (Kansas City, Mo.) set a personal best in the 110-meter hurdles, running 14.60. State freshman John Bailey (Terry, Miss.) and Brady each ran personal bests in the event. Bailey took fifth in the 200-meter dash (21.87). In the field, freshman Kiley Aguar (Athens, Ga.) set a personal best in the hammer with a throw of 139-00.

MSU returns to action next Saturday, Apr. 22 at the Auburn Invitational in Auburn, Ala.

Women's Golf
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The Mississippi State women's golf team moved into tenth place after the second round of the SEC Championship on Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs fired a 301 on the par-72 Ironhorse Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

State was led on day two by junior Amanda Mathis who fired a one-under par 71 and moved into a tie for seventh in the individual competition. Senior Ashleigh Korzack and sophomore Juli Huh both shot rounds of 76 on Saturday. Korzack moved into a tie for 40th while Huh moved into 56th. Freshman Leigh Phillips tied a career best, shooting a 78 in the second round and stands in 57th after two rounds of play. Senior Stephanie Godare fired an 84 on Saturday to round out the scorecard for MSU.

Auburn used a second round 282 to take over the lead in the team competition. The tigers lead second-place Georgia by four strokes entering Sunday's final round. Auburn's Maria Martinez shot a 68 on Saturday to take over the lead in the individual race. She leads Georgia's Taylor Leon by two strokes heading into tomorrows third round.

State will conclude play in the SEC Championship tomorrow, teeing off at 8:30 a.m.

Men's Tennis
OXFORD, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team fell in a close 4-3 match to arch-rival and 13th-ranked Mississippi on Saturday at UM's Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The Bulldogs (4-13, 1-10) were points away from the victory but could not close the Rebels out, as UM won its 17th straight over the Bulldogs.

The Rebels took an early 1-0 lead in the match, winning all three doubles matches. The first completed was on court #3 where Rebels Jakob Klaeson and Robbye Poole won 8-1 over MSU's Ryan Farlow and Josh Irey. Mississippi clinched the point at the #1 position, where the eighth-ranked tandem of Erling Tveit and Eric Claesson defeated State's pair of Ivan Bjelica and Pierre Mouillon 8-4. UM's Juan Pablo Di Cesare and Bram ten Berge concluded doubles play with an 8-3 win over State's Florent Girod and Jose-Carlos Pinto.

UM waisted no time in extending their lead during the initial stages of singles play. The Rebels took a 2-0 lead when UM's ten Berge defeated State's Girod 6-2, 6-0 on court #4. UM extended its lead to 3-0 when Poole defeated MSU freshman Eric Lim 6-2, 6-4 at the #6 position.

Just when the match looked all but over, State began to turn the momentum around and make a furious comeback. State's 81st-ranked Bjelica defeated 27th-ranked Claesson 6-4, 6-1 on court #2 to close the gap to 3-1. Moments later, MSU's Philippe Frayssinoux closed out UM's Klaeson 6-4, 6-3 on court #5 to bring the score to 3-2.

The attention then turned to courts #1 and #3 where the match would be decided. On court #1, State's 97th-ranked Mouillon battled UM's 17th-ranked Tveit to three sets. After dropping the first set 6-2, Mouillon sent the match to a third set with a second set tiebreak win. In the third set, Mouillon looked to be in control, taking a 5-2 lead. However, Tveit fought off several match points and battled back to defeat Mouillon in a third set tiebreaker to clinch the match for the Rebels. After the match was clinched, States Pinto upended UM's 69th-ranked Di Cesare 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 to give State its third point.

"There is no doubt that this has been a tough year for us," said MSU head coach Sylvain Guichard. "However we showed today that we will continue to fight to the end of every match. We battled one of the top teams in the country to the bitter end on their home court and had a good chance to win the match."

The Rebels moved to 18-4 overall and 8-3 in the SEC with the win. UM avoided losing its second straight home match with the win. Before last week's loss to top-ranked Georgia, Mississippi had won 31 consecutive home match. State's Bjelica notched his second win this spring over a top-30 opponent.

State will now travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. for the SEC Championship beginning on Thursday.

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