News from MSU Media Relations--April 18

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

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis team will open post season play on Thursday, April 20, in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Women's Tennis Championships on the campus of the University of Florida. State, the 11th-seed in the draw, will face 6th-seed Alabama at 2 p.m. ET on the Varsity Courts.

MState and UA have met only once previously in SEC Championship competition. The Crimson Tide topped MSU 5-2 during the 1994 SEC Tennis Championship held in Fayetteville, Ark. During the 2006 regular season, UA claimed a 5-2 victory over the Maroon and White on March 10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The winner of the MSU-UA match will face 3rd-seed Kentucky on Friday at 2 p.m. ET on the Varsity Courts.

For up to date information on the 2006 league championship, log on to MSU's official web site and click the tournament central link.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will open play at the SEC Championship Thursday, taking on 20th-ranked LSU at 2 p.m. This year's tournament is being hosted by Alabama and is being played at the University of Alabama Tennis Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The 12th-seeded Bulldogs enter the tournament with a 4-13 overall record and are 1-10 in Southeastern Conference play. LSU (14-8, 7-4) is the fifth-seed in the tournament. Despite a seven match losing skid, the Bulldogs have only dropped two matches in that span to teams ranked outside the top-20. LSU is coming off two straight 4-3 setbacks to Auburn and Arkansas. The Tigers most recent loss to Arkansas kept them from claiming a share of the SEC Western Division Title. Earlier this season, LSU defeated State 7-0 in a meeting in Baton Rouge, La. The Tigers own a 13-4 lead in the overall series since 1969 and have won the last five meetings. State and LSU have met twice in the SEC Championship since it was initiated in 1990. MSU won the first meeting in the second round of the 1991Championship while LSU won in a second round matchup in the tournament when it was held in Baton Rouge, La. in 1995.

State is led by junior Ivan Bjelica, ranked 80th nationally, and sophomore Pierre Mouillon who leads the team in overall victories with 18 and dual match victories with 10. Bjelica and Mouillon are tied for the lead on the team with five SEC wins.

The Tigers have two players ranked in singles as well as two doubles teams ranked. LSU's Ken Skupski is ranked 24th nationally while Colt Gaston is ranked 110th. LSU's tandem of Skupski and Mark Growcott are ranked ninth and the duo of Gaston and Danny Bryan are ranked 30th.

"We are excited about playing in the SEC Championship this week," said MSU head coach Sylvain Guichard. "We open by playing a very talented LSU team who beat us earlier in the year. We look forward to the challenge and are ready to get back out on the court."

The winner in Thursday's match will advance to face fourth-seeded Kentucky on Friday at 2 p.m.

The Wildcats are currently ranked 30th nationally and defeated State 4-3 earlier this season in Lexington, Ky.

State is 17-15, all time in the SEC Championship and has reached at least the quarterfinals in 13 of the 15 previous tournaments.

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