News from MSU Media Relations--January 19

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

Women's Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's indoor track and field team will get the 2007 indoor track season underway this weekend, Jan. 19-20, at the Clemson Invitational in Clemson, S.C. The women's portion of the event will get underway at 4:20 CST with the distance medley relay.

"This is an early season meet to evaluate where we are, especially after the holiday break," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "The field is very competitive, so hopefully this will point us in the right direction towards the SEC Championships."

Joining the Lady Bulldogs in the Clemson event will be Southeastern Conference foes Alabama and Auburn while six Atlantic Coast Conference opponents will compete this weekend - North Carolina, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Clemson. Three teams are ranked in the first edition of the Top 25 listings - No. 11 UNC, No. 14 Auburn and No. 19 Georgia Tech.

This weekend's competition marks the second straight season in which the Maroon and White have opened the indoor slate at the Clemson Invitational. Last season, MSU posted six individual personal marks and captured the distance medley relay competition with a time of 11 minutes and 52.90 seconds, which ranks fifth on the school's all-time chart. Senior Mina Thorensten won the 5,000 meters run at 18:06.52.

After this weekend's meet, State will travel to Baton Rouge, La. to participate in the LSU Invitational on Friday, Jan. 26.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will kick off its 2007 spring season this weekend (Jan. 19-22), at the Southeastern Conference Coaches Indoor Championships in New Orleans, La. The tournament, which is being held at the Rivercenter Racquet and Health Club, features players from eight SEC schools who will compete in two singles draws and a doubles draw.

Four Bulldogs will compete in a field of 32 in the A draw beginning on Friday. Junior Philippe Frayssinoux, ranked 31st-nationally entering the spring, is the seventh seed and will begin play at 9:30 a.m. Ranked 32nd-nationally, junior Ivan Bjelica is the eighth seed and will begin play at noon. Freshman Pete Necajevs will begin his first-round match at 10 a.m. while fellow freshman Artem Kuznetsov's first-round match is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m.

In B draw singles, three Bulldogs will open play on Friday at 8 a.m. Freshmen Chris Doerr and Edouard Benchetrit along with sophomore Ryan Farlow will all begin play in first-round competition. Sophomore Eric Lim received a bye and will begin play in the second round on Saturday.

Four MSU doubles pairs are entered into doubles competition which gets underway Friday afternoon at the conclusion of singles play. Ranked 28th-nationally, the freshman duo of Necajevs and Kuznetsov are seeded fourth and will receive a bye in the first round. The junior pair of Bjelica and Frassinoux along with the tandem of Doerr and Farlow will begin their first-round matches at 3 p.m. Benchetrit and Lim begin their first-round doubles match at 4:30 p.m. The second round of doubles will also be played Friday beginning at 5 p.m.

Competition at the SEC Indoor Championships runs through Monday, concluding with championship matches in both singles draws and the doubles draw. State will then return home and prepare for dual match play which begins Feb. 3 when the Bulldogs host UAB in a match scheduled for 1 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE , Miss. - Mississippi State 's women's tennis squad travels to Athens, Ga., this weekend (Jan. 19-21) to begin the new year at the Georgia Invitational.

All seven members of head coach Tracy Lane's 2007 squad will compete against players from #24 Georgia , #53 Kansas State and #69 Troy.

The three-day event will open up with two rounds of doubles each morning starting at 8 a.m. CT. Singles competition is slated to commence each day at 10:30 a.m. CT and will feature two 16-player draws with each competitor guaranteed three matches.

Martina Banikova, Elna de Villiers, Renee Joseph and Daniela Juskova will compete for MSU in the Red Main Draw. Freshmen lady netters Valeriya Makarycheva and DeAndra Saddler will join sophomore Tatiana Feit in the Black Draw. State's doubles pairs for the weekend will vary each day.

Following this weekend's action, the Lady Bulldogs will focus on opening up the 2007 dual match season at home against #56 Colorado (Feb. 2 at 2 p.m.) and Alabama-Birmingham (Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.) at the A. J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

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