News from MSU Media Relations--February 3

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

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's basketball team faces Auburn Sunday afternoon in a 2 p.m. contest from Humphrey Coliseum. The Lady Bulldogs are also sponsoring National Girls in Women in Sports Day. All young ladies participating in athletics throughout the state are invited to attend Sunday's contest. General admission tickets are available for $3 each and can be purchased at the MSU Ticket Office at the Coliseum the day of the game.

During Sunday's game, fans will have opportunities to win prizes courtesy of MSU Athletics. Following the contest, the Lady Bulldogs will be available for autographs and pictures on the court.

According to its Web site, National Girls and Women in Sports Day began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports. Hyman died of Marfan's Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

Celebrated annually, NGWSD is jointly organized by the National Girls and Women in Sport Coalition. The Coalition combines the experience and resources of the six premiere girls- and women-serving organizations in the United States: Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Incorporated, the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, National Women's Law Center, the Women's Sports Foundation, and the YWCA USA.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will open its 2007 dual match season Saturday, hosting UAB in a match slated for 1 p.m. at the A. J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the MSU campus. This year's matchup marks the 23rd meeting between the two programs with MSU holding a commanding 21-1 record in the series dating back to 1979.

State returns four lettermen from last season's squad including a pair of juniors in 31st-ranked Philippe Frayssinoux and 32nd-ranked Ivan Bjelica. Also returning are sophomores Eric Lim of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Mississippi native Ryan Farlow. Among four newcomers this season are Russian native Artem Kuznetsov and Latvian Pjotrs Necajevs, currently ranked 28th-nationally in doubles. Also seeing their first dual match action of their careers will be France native Edouard Benchetrit and Chris Doerr, who comes to MSU from England.

Back for his sixth season at the helm of the program is head coach Sylvain Guichard. The former MSU letterman has guided State to four NCAA Tournament appearances in his first five seasons. Guichard enters the season with 46 career victories and is six wins away from moving to fourth on the MSU career coaching victories list.

UAB will open up its season Friday by hosting North Alabama before Saturday's matchup with State. The Blazers are coming off a 12-5 record last season and are coached by Derek Tarr, who is in his 19th season with UAB.

Following Saturday's action, State will travel to Jackson to face rival and sixth-ranked Mississippi on Feb. 8 in the annual River Hills Cup.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's lady netters fell just short in two three-set matches that proved to be the turning point for #44 Colorado (3-0) in their 4-1 victory over the Lady Bulldogs Friday in the season opener for State. The match was played indoors in McCarthy Gymnasium due to poor weather conditions outdoors.

The turning point in the match for Colorado was winning the #2 and #3 singles positions to take a 3-1 lead after a 1-1 stalemate early on. At the No. 2 spot, after taking the first set 7-6(7) in a long tiebreaker, State's Daniela Juskova dropped the next two sets 6-4, 7-5 in a tightly-contested match against CU's Camila Belassi, giving CU a 2-1 advantage. At No. 3, in another close three-set battle, Lady Bulldog Elna de Villiers took the first 6-3 but then fell 6-4, 6-3 to Colorado's Veera Nurmi to give the Buffs the 3-1 lead.

Before those two matches, Colorado had taken the doubles point and MSU's Martina Banikova claimed victory at the No. 1 position in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 upset win over Colorado's 36th-ranked Monica Milewski.

After gaining the 3-1 advantage, Colorado clinched the team victory on court No. 4 with CU's Franziska Jendrian notching a 6-3, 6-2 win over State's Renee Joseph.

The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action this Sunday, Feb. 4, at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre where they will place host to visiting UAB. The match is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

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