ATHENS, Ga. - Mississippi State junior Philippe Frayssinoux and two Bulldog doubles teams advanced in their respective draws on the first day of action at the SEC Indoor Championships on Friday. Frayssinoux moved into the second round of the A Draw, while the freshman tandem of Artem Kuznetsov and Pjotrs Necajevs advanced to the quarterfinals in the doubles draw.
Frayssinoux, ranked 31st nationally and the sixth seed in the tournament, moved past LSU's Colt Gaston 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2 in his first-round match. With the win, the Plaisir, France, native now advances to face Mississippi's 79th-ranked Robbye Poole in a second-round match slated for 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Also victorious for MSU on Friday was freshman Edouard Benchetrit and sophomore Ryan Farlow in the B draw. In his first collegiate match, Benchetrit defeated Alabama's Taylor Striplin 6-3, 6-4 in the first round and advanced to play in the second round later in the day. Farlow moved into the second round with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Florida's Shaun Young.
In the other seven singles matches that State played, three were decided in three sets while there were four sets decided by tiebreakers. Despite a valiant effort, Necajevs fell to 61st-ranked Matic Omerzel of top-ranked Georgia 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in his first-round match while fellow freshman Kuznetsov dropped a 6-0, 6-4 decision to 22nd-ranked and fourth-seeded Travis Helgeson, also from UGA. Rounding out play for the Bulldogs in the A Draw, 32nd-ranked junior Ivan Bjelica could not overcome Nate Schnugg of Georgia and an injury, falling 6-2, 6-2.
In the second round of the B draw, four Bulldogs narrowly missed advancing. MSU sophomore Eric Lim dropped a 7-6(1), 7-6(4) decision to Florida's Geoff Barton. Benchetrit had a lead, but could not hold on as he fell 6-0, 6-7(6), 6-3 to Christian Vitulli of Georgia while batteling during the match. Farlow faced Josh Varela of Georgia but also fell in three sets, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-4.
Play also began on Friday afternoon in the doubles draw. Ranked 28th nationally, the fourth-seeded duo of Kuznetsov and Necajevs received a bye in the first round. In the second round, the pair knocked off Johnny Thornton and Davey Sandren of Tennessee to advance to Saturday's quarterfinals. The tandem will take on the fifth-seeded team of Danny Bryan and Colt Gaston of LSU in a match scheduled for 3 p.m. In first round doubles play, State's Doerr and Farlow defeated Jordan Dolberg and Nestor Briceno of Florida 8-2 and will play their second-round match Saturday afternoon, facing off against Georgia's John Isner and Varela.
The doubles team of Bjelica and Frayssinoux, along with the pair of Benchetrit and Lim, were forced to withdraw due to the earlier injuries to Bjelica and Benchetrit.
Saturday's action will commence with singles play, followed by doubles action and will conclude with one round of consolation singles.
Women's Track & Field
CLEMSON , S.C. - Mississippi State's Annie Falor finished third in both of her distance competitions at the Clemson Invitational on Saturday to close out the opening weekend for the Lady Bulldog track squad.
The junior from Flagstaff, Ariz. recorded a time of five minutes, 1.84 seconds in the mile run and followed up with a time of 10 minutes, 4.27 in the 3000-meter run. Her placements paced the squad to a seventh-place finish in the meet. MState had two individuals in the finals of the 60-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. Freshman Laquinta Aaron finished 10th with a time of 8.24 in the dash while sophomore Marrissa Harris placed sixth in the hurdles in 9.38.
"Annie (Falor) had a good day," said MSU head track coach Al Schmidt. "It wasn't a very aggressive weekend and we did not shoot all of our bullets since it was our first meet. We were right there with Auburn and Alabama. Our goal is still the SEC Championships."
In other running events, sophomore Abbey Graham posted a personal-best in the 800-meter run. She finished the run in 2:20.98 to place eighth. Michelle Corrigan finished fifth in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:16.95.
The Lady Bulldogs will turn their attention to next Friday's (Jan. 26) meet in Baton Rouge, La. at the Bayou Bengal Invite.
ATHENS, Ga. - A pair of Mississippi State doubles duos registered wins at the Georgia Invitational Saturday as the tournament went through the paces of day two action.
The State tandem of sophomore Martina Banikova and freshman Valeriya Makarycheva rebounded from a tough loss Friday to seize victory in a tightly-contested 9-7 match against Kansas State's Olga Kilmova and Katerina Kudlackova Saturday. MSU's duo of Renee Joseph and Daniela Juskova blanked their Wildcat opponents 8-0 as they took care of Maria Perevoshichikova and Natasha Vieria.
State's third doubles team, Elna de Villiers and DeAndra Saddler, dropped an 8-5 match to K-State's duo of Fernanda de Valle and Viviana Yrureta.
In consolation singles play Saturday, de Villiers and Tatiana Feit won their matches. De Villiers downed Troy's Annabelle Bares for a 6-2, 6-4 victory in Red Draw action while Feit took down her Trojan opponent, Tatiana Gouvia, 6-0, 6-1 in the Black Draw's backdraw. Joseph took her consolation match to a tiebreaker against K-State's Katerina Kudlackova before eventually falling 7-5, 7-6(4).
In main draw singles, Banikova dropped her second-round Red Draw match to Georgia's 88th-ranked Monika Dancevic, 6-4, 6-1. In another battle of the Bulldogs, State's Makarycheva was defeated 6-1, 6-0 by UGA's Adrienne Elsberry in the Black Draw.
Teams wrap up play at the Georgia Invite on Sunday with round robin doubles at 8 a.m. CT followed by singles action at 10:45 a.m. CT.